Men are defined by their relationship to women because in nature the male is an adjunct to the female. Why evolution took life in the direction of sexual reproduction is clear -genetic diversity. Why hermaphroditism is largely confined to invertebrates is unclear to me, but may be a natural way of controlling population growth.

In any event, the male of any species is primarily a provider of sperm. In some species that's all he is. There are species in which the male is an occasional visitor to all-female groups, others in which there is a harem structure, one male to many females in permanent residence. In groups containing both sexes, the dominant male may be half of an Alpha Breeding Pair. In some pack species, the males do most of the hunting and scavenging, as well as defending territory.

That, in nature, is the role of the human male. In hunter-gatherer societies, the men go off to do the hunting while the women build the community. Men actually aren't supposed to be around all the time, and they're supposed to die a lot -men are expendable by design -we turned out to have shorter life-spans than women, once childbirth became safer.

Result, men have simpler, more basic, emotions. Empathy doesn't help when you're hunting and fighting. You don't want to be nurturing the young males who will in due course supplant you as mating partners. You want to test them and push them so that only the best get to do that after you're gone. We compete for the same reason -to make sure that the best get the best to produce the best and keep the pack strong.

Which is all very well when there are only a few million of us, scattered around the world. Now, crammed as we are into every available nook and cranny, our own basic nature has become toxic.

Tony Atkinson -Advocate-General to His Satanic Majesty

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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