Woman. The chosen sex. She came to be as a result of a bloody arms race in nature, as is often the case with life. Females, and in fact the concept of sex, didn’t always exist. Yet in nature, nothing happens by accident. This is her creation story, and how she came to hold they key to the fate of mankind.
Our current understanding of the origin of sex begins with the rise of parasitic organisms, such as viruses and pathogenic bacteria. These parasites had a devastating effect on early life, causing mass extinction in many families of species which were very genetically similar. If parasites could kill one member of a family, the rest were doomed as they were almost clones of each other. The only species which survived were those who had a wide range of diversity in their genes, leading to physical differences. If a virus attached to a particular receptor on a cell wall, a member of the same species which lacked this receptor would survive, while the victim died and ceased to reproduce. This trend began to favor the rise of species which did not produce clones of themselves, but had mechanisms to increase genetic variation. One of these mechanisms was the ability to take random sequences of genetic material from the environment, and splice it into their own genomes. This proved to be a big gamble, but the results were spectacular. The variation resulting from this method allowed the species to constantly adapt to the parasites, and ensured that at least a fraction of the offspring survived the continued onslaught. It turned out that the most efficient way to find genetic material was to exchange it with another member of your species, which was likely nearby and had similar physiology. The mechanisms for this process were incremental, and were generated via random mutation. Yet, from shuffling one’s own genes, to splicing in external genes, to sharing genes with others, the process continually favored those offspring which produced the greatest variation.
Life carried on its brutish competition, culling the weak and continuously testing the strong. Multicellular organisms arose, and at some point, reproduction became an issue. A complex multicellular organism could not reproduce by simple mitosis. It needed to program specific instructions into the offspring to guide its development. Yet, how could this be achieved while maintaining genetic exchange with other members of the organism? Meiosis was the answer. Each member engaging in reproduction would produce a prototype cell with half the genes necessary to make an offspring, called a gamete. These would then fuse, and produce a single cell (a zygote) from which the organism would grow. The problem of multicellular reproduction while maintaining genetic diversity was solved. Yet there remained an issue: how much resources would each parent contribute to the zygote? They could contribute equally, but if there was an advantage to be had by contributing a little less, it would be worth a try. This would allow a parent to produce more gametes, and increase their potential number of offspring. Thus began the arms race, with evolution experimenting with a plethora of gametes that all had different initial resource contributions to the zygote. It turns out that a fifty fifty resource contribution to the zygote is an unstable equilibrium, and there is an advantage to be had by dropping off to one side or the other. A parent could create a tiny gamete, which contributed no resources to the zygote, such that it could produce countless gametes and hope to produce a high number of offspring. However, a substantial resource investment was required for a zygote to grow, so these gametes could only fertilize other gametes which had all of the necessary resources. The valley between the two strategies widened such that you had to pick a side: no resource investment, or full resource investment. Thus were born the sperm and the egg, and their producers, the male and female.
Keen readers will know that nothing in nature is free, and producing eggs would be far more costly than sperm due to the high resource investment. And that is exactly what happened: sperm was cheap to produce and that was its advantage, yet, the egg producers controlled the market for zygotes. You needed both to make a zygote, but as the egg was so much more expensive, there were far fewer of them and thus females controlled the market. The egg producers were the investors, they had all the money, and they picked their stock portfolio to maximize their profits. Profit in this case was reproductive success. That is, the egg producers wanted the sperm which would give them the absolute highest number of successful offspring; success meaning they’d have plenty offspring of their own. Since only one sperm could fertilize one egg, this led to a massive competition among sperm producers. The sperms within a male competed for a single egg, and males competed with other males for access to females.
Thus, the sexual organisms were born, and evolution carried on for time unfathomable. Hundreds of millions of years passed as life danced to the ominous concerto of evolution, the suffering howls of millions of species echoing through the chambers of time. Deep within these chambers, evolution apathetically marched on slowly but steadily, humming his tune. He conducted his experiments; a deaf composer working tirelessly without desire, purpose or creativity. But by sheer determination and luck, he produced a magnificent array of sounds. Some sounds harmonized together, and some clashed violently in dissonance, till one eliminated the other. Yet the concerto continued, producing a neverending song with a staggering variety of sounds. One sound stood out from the rest; it got progressively louder until the others were barely audible. Soon, this sound would come to dominate in a way none had before it.
It began one day, when a hominid, while playing about in the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa, accidentally lit a fire. He then showed his friends, and soon enough they were lighting fires everywhere. The fire kept them warm, scared off predators, and, as one curious hominid discovered, made meat far easier to eat without getting sick. This group of hominids came to dominate all others, and their descendents eventually spread across the world. They dealt with disease, cold and predators to be crowned kings of nature. Yet, none of this was achieved peacefully.
Every child’s birth was a brutal competition between males for access to the female. Initially males competed violently, resulting in a last man standing bloodbath where the victor would receive all the females, and the losers would die or be forced to retreat. A smart male realized this was futile; why not team up and kill the strongest man, and take the females? But this proposed a problem: how would they divide the females up after their victory? It quickly became apparent that the strongest team would be the one with the most men, and to get a man motivated to fight, only one female was required. Thus, each man was promised one female all to himself, who’s offspring’s paternity was guaranteed to be his. This motivated him to fight alongside his comrades and trust them in a way no group of males had done before. Males who worked better together in battle were victorious more often, and thus lived to breed. In short order, male teams had full monopoly of females. Teams became larger, and fought one another on grand scales. Male roles became specialized; the soldier, inventor and merchant were all critical to the success of an empire. They became a well oiled machine, working in perfect harmony while motivated by the drive to acquire more resources to produce more offspring. Humans, it turned out, required the highest parental investment in their children than any other species. Thus, one female could produce more offspring than a man could feed, and there was no point in hoarding females unless one was massively wealthy. However, for each female hoarded, there would be one less motivated soldier, weakening the empire. Thus, monogamy became to the universal mating ritual in every successful society. To have more offspring, the man simply had to acquire more resources. And so the great empires of the world battled for the world’s resources, compelled by the invisible hand of old evolution.
Females, for their part, were quite content with the winner take all harem: it gauranteed that they mated with the single strongest male in the vicinity. If another male challenged him and won, they would simply have his children as well. It was in their interest to diversify their investments, as the environment was cruel and full of surprises. One man would not have all the traits necessary to survive all environments, thus they preferred frequent challengers to their harm lord, and submitted peacefully to the victor. The new male would most likely drive off the previous man’s male offspring, but they’d likely go and challenge other males for their own harems once of age. This proved to be a great strategy for the majority of females, as even the least attractive among them mated with the strongest male. When males began forming teams, and strictly enforcing monogamy to motivate themselves, things became far more complicated for females. Granted, they’d likely have far more offspring due to their husband’s significant resource contribution. However, unless they were the most attractive, they would have no chance to mate with the highest status male, who was the leader of the team and the closest they had to their old harem lord. This caused massive dissatisfaction for the majority of females; why should any female have to settle for second best? She had the eggs, she was the investor, and she deserved to invest in the best sperm money could buy. Yet the men had banded together and refused them, for they knew this was the only way to survive against other male teams. Furthermore, the men knew they stood a far better chance of obtaining a mate at all by teaming up, as the old system was rigged against all but the best. Females grudgingly went along with monogamy, convinced by great works of male coercion such as religious dogma. However, a constant subconscious dissatisfaction remained, boiling under the crust of their polite mannerisms and ladylike speech. They wanted the top males, and not even God could convince them otherwise.
The war of the sexes, which was nonexistent till monogamy, became heated. Females had no stake in men’s empires; if they crumbled, females instinctively knew they would be spared. Some may have been mistreated initially, but the great majority would survive and be taken for a second wife of a rich and powerful man. Some men even created harems of their conquered enemies’ females, returning females to their long lost paradise. As such, loyalty to their empire was meaningless for females: a strong male was a strong male, and they would suffice regardless of their allegiance. The men on the other hand, had no such luck. Every last one would be executed, or worse, enslaved and worked till the last breath left his body. For men, it was do or die. They could not allow women to subvert their monogamy or their empires. Any behavior which threatened it: premarital sex, adultery, or any form infidelity, was brutally punished, oftentimes by death. In this competition, men were without options. Live and die for the empire, and hope your offspring survived.
As discussed previously, the battle of the empires came to an end when war became too costly. Nuclear warfare resulted in a truce, and for the first time in history, man could not take another’s resources by force. Women, having waited patiently through war, saw their chance. The frustration of centuries of sexual oppression was within them, heating to a boil. Their quest for sexual freedom began with a few intellectuals, and these early feminists told women exactly what they wanted to hear. The franchise, economic empowerment, equality…these were all but means to an end: sexual freedom. Men, who had come to see monogamy much as they saw the sun rising in the east, believed it to be a constant of the universe. They literally knew of no alternative, and did not understand female nature. Why would they, since as far back as they had written history, monogamy was the law. Thus, they saw no harm in giving women the franchise and socioeconomic equality. In fact, why had their old patriarchs been so oppressive? Women are clearly human, and deserve the same freedom as males. The men who freed females had no idea that females, as their first act of freedom, would abandon monogamy. Ignorance is bliss, till reality strikes man with an empty bed and a solitary existence, leaving him wondering where the women have gone.
Western civilization has made the female’s return to power a spectacular one. Provided with the abundant material wealth created by man’s toil, woman is freed of the need for his labor. She desires one thing, and one thing alone: to satisfy the attraction mechanism she has suppressed for millenia. To find every alpha male and lose herself in his labyrinth of irresistible sexuality, ensconced by his dark triad. He is her rightful mate, and she has waited for him far too long. This sentiment is not limited to attractive females alone. In fact, those who benefit most are the average females who were condemned to average men for time immemorial. For them, victory tastes sweetest. Female entitlement is as natural as walking on two legs; they are the egg producers and the investors in our future. They deserve the best, and it is denial to ask them to settle for anything less.
This is the true nature of woman, the cunning, coquettish seductress released from Pandora’s Box when the first female was born. Man believed he had tamed her wild nature, but he had simply forgotten it. The future is in her hands once again, and men are but her puppets. We can only pray she exercises her power responsibly.