Since the dawn of man, it has been exactly that. Men this; men that. “Stronger, smarter, better,” apparently. As a man myself I’ve gotta admit that I’ve benefitted tremendously in only 20 years from simply being born with a different anatomy, and that’s without mentioning race. In order to take a more objective view at gender, it might help to ignore human history. It’s a little man-washed. That being said, let’s take one big step outside the world of humans and see how other species are handling the trial of XX against XY.
We’ll start small in the realm of those that buzz and freak us the hell out. Insects. Bees are dying at an alarming rate. That has nothing to do with my point but it’s true. In the case of the honeybee, the female is literally the queen. But this isn’t a one woman show. Contrary to popular belief, most hives are a mixed composition of majority female workers, not just one giant 1:1,000 bee orgy. But similar to ant colonies, many females never reproduce, living only to serve the queen and the greater good of the colony. In fact, if all of the ants on Earth were gathered in one big mass, not only would it be a majority female, but it would be heavier than the total combined weight of humans. Pussy power.
Males functions in systems like these are very limited and often die before even being able to reproduce. SAD!
Going up another link on the food chain, the praying mantis and the black widow spider are two pretty bad ass, nasty women. Although not all spiders or mantises participate, it’s a pretty high rate, and often irregular if they don’t participate rather than do. The Darwinian explanation of mantis decapitation post-coitus is to ensure the nutrition of the mother to be, and the male is apparently fine with nourishing his future babies. Spiders are known cannibals throughout the animal kingdom, which explains why they are around #3 on the top 10 things humanity fears. But black widows eat their mate simply because they can. The smaller the guy, the easier the meal.
Switching to the macro sides of the spectrum, two of Earth’s titans are matriarchal. Both elephants and killer whale societies are dominated by the strong female lead. In both societies, the eldest mother decides where the pod or herd goes and when it stops. Orcas live with their mothers until their death, even after having young of their own, creating pods made up of entire generations of the sea beast. Elephants live similarly, with herds easily reaching 100 elephants and spanning as far back as five generations.
One of the baddest female dominant species also potentially shares the title for most underrated: lions. Sure, everyone wants a tattoo of that big, mean looking feline with the flowing mane and scarred face, but he really doesn’t have it hard. Defend the pride from other lions and sleep all day. Check and check. Female lions run the pride. Prides are composed of two or three males and then the rest are lionesses and their young, sometimes reaching as many as 30 or 40 in total. Lionesses will wander and stalk prey together in some of the craziest footage you’ll ever see on YouTube, taking down anything from an elephant to a giraffe and sometimes even crocodiles. What kind of animal looks at a crocodile and thinks “yeah, me and my girls can eat that,” and then does so? The lioness.
On the same note, hyenas are aggressively female. Unlike lion prides, hyena societies are larger in number, up to 60 in a group, and are led by one top lady. She is so on top, in fact, that she has a massive clitoris that acts as a “false penis” that she uses to assert dominance over top ranking males, ripping at their necks with her teeth and poking them with it as she mounts them. Males in hyena clans are often shunned, taunted by females and eat last, as observed by Laurence Frank in the 1980s while working with the New York Times. “The males are so nervous around the females.”
Let’s not forget to acknowledge one of the most important ladies around, mother nature. Our planet, which some love and some think they do but drive a Hummer H2, is our nurturer. Before smartphones and steam engines, light bulbs and muskets, mass production and modernization, she gave the Aztecs squash and the Chinese rice. Vegetation and sustenance, nurturing from our worldly matriarch. In no significant way can humanity ever thank the Earth.
This may be a list of species that aren’t homosapiens that are dominated by females, but that can change. The history books won’t tell her-story too often, but they are there. Women have dedicated their lives to the same noble pursuits of men and received no recognition, but that is no reason to quit. For the next 100 years men can continue to try and systemically suppress the other sex, but it won’t matter. Time won’t tell history or her-story. Just a story of two genders, one species, that rose to dominance.
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