An academic woman tweeted a job opening in Anti-Racist Feminist Biology, which has led to much comment. Evolutionary anthropologist Littlefoot has defended the possibility (if not necessarily probability) of feminist biology being a potential actual thing.
He and I both cite the UC Davis primatologist and evolutionary anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy as an example of the upside of what female interest in female topics can bring to the table.
Blaffer Hrdy is married, has three daughters, and with her husband runs a sizable walnut orchard near UC Davis. Thus she has a lot of experience in what has been one of the more common roles of human beings over the last 10,000 years: being a farm wife-mother.
Her 1999 book Mother Nature features many insights into questions that interested many women over the millennia, such as getting daughters to do their chores around the farm. In her experience, it’s much easier to persuade an 11-year-old daughter to do the kind of farm chores that she will do when she is a farm wife-mother herself than it is to persuade a 15-year-old daughter. Pre-adolescent daughters tend to be helpful and interested in practicing skills they will use as grown-ups.
By 15, however, daughters tend to roll their eyes at chores and complain endlessly so they can go back to lolling about and/or working on their make-up. Why? According to Hrdy, they are conserving their energy and attention for their entry into the mating market.
Is this exactly true? I don’t know. I’m not a farm wife-mother. But without the contributions of an academic farm wife-mother, I never would have thought about it.