Feminist Chimpanzee and Jane Goodall

15 11 2020

I recently watched a documentary on the life of Jane Goodall, the British born woman who studied the life of chimpanzees in the African wild. Though I enjoyed it very much, it seems to me that some of her fame was due more to her stunning looks and aquiline beauty rather than due to the ugly hairy Chimpanzees she was studying. Still , her “Tarzan-like” courage is remarkable, and a nose that could withstand strong unpleasant stench was invaluable to her works. She definitely helped the world get a better glimpse of the private life of those hairy beasts, but even more importantly, her discoveries had remarkable influence on her own private life in ways that even she would not admit.

At the early stage of her expedition, she met and fallen in love with Hugo, a young photographer who was sent by the National geographic to photograph and documents her work. It was a love affair that was– as far as all could see—unavoidable. What better way of falling in love than for two young people to be alone in an African jungle with nothing better to do than ogle each other while watching Chimps?  

In one of the scenes, Jane and her boyfriend watched a female Chimp mating freely with several males, who took turns with her, and off course, afterwards, when she gave birth; all the males abandoned her to raise the child alone.  One could almost say that this female Chimp had as a natural gift, what modern feminist seek or aspire to achieve throughout sexual revolution of the 60: serial sexual partnerships and of course no strings attached. It can be argued that the female chimps had an advanced form of feminism which culminates in large rate of single motherhood among chimps, and lousy fatherhood of males who play very little role in the family and the life of their offspring.

Furthermore, the couple confirmed by their observations that the female chimp with multiple sex partners, if they already had offspring,  was a cause of distress for their adolescent offspring, some of whom would even attack their mother’s lovers trying to break up the ongoing act. Thus if multiple sex partnership similar to modern day serial divorce in human society was terribly upsetting even for beastly offspring, it would be equally  if not more distressing to human offspring just as studies have shown. In a 2010 study, Donahue et al demonstrated that adolescents whose parents were divorced were more likely to experience depression and a range of psychological problems.

In spite of all these discoveries, Jane and Hugo marriage would end in divorce a few odd years later, and Jane will go on and marry someone else, obviously forgetting the odd grief of the adolescent chimps at their mother’s multiple sex partners. One would have expected her to spare her son the grief she had witnessed in the baby chimp. 

However, apart from this singular failure, Jane would successfully emulate virtues of the mother chimp in her life as she raised her son alone in the wild, struggling to replicate the love she witnessed that the mother chimps lavished on their children. But she also got avoid all the mistakes the mother chimps made in raising their infant offspring. For instance, she discovered that sometimes infant male chimps became so attached to their mothers that they couldn’t ever grow up, and when they eventually became adults, they couldn’t survive on their own and would die when their mothers died.

Fears of this propelled Jane to send her son away to a boarding school in London, a way of helping him gain greater independence from her, and perhaps have a  greater contact with his father and others male companies.

Surprisingly, Jane who was a passionate believer in evolution and a feminist, failed to make the connection that the very failures and weaknesses that threatened the extinction of these beasts are what is being proposed today in the modern world as progressivism. If evolution is movement from inferior intelligence to superior rational articulate intelligence, how do we account for the return to the instinctive “multiple sex partners” and the consequent “absent fatherhood” in our post modern world?  Perhaps instead of evolving we are actually devolving.

Prior to the sexual revolutions of 60’s multiple sex partnership, serial divorce, cohabitation and single motherhood— traits that Jane observed on chimp world–were abhorred in most human societies. The sexual revolution returned these straits back to human societies, a devolution back, from man to chimp. Today, only the Catholic church remains firm in her conviction that the sexual revolution is wrong, insisting that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life and maintaining that premarital sex and promiscuity are beneath the dignity of humans and indeed, by doing this, the Church is actually supporting science and evolutionary progress and rejecting the devolutionary agenda of the sexual revolution.



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