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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Did ‘Man the Hunter’ Alone Develop Our Primitive Mind?

The unit cells in the brain that allow us to think are called neurons. Our brain has billions of them; interconnected billions of times. All information perceived through our senses are stored in the brain. It follows that more the experience- more the information and more the sharing between neurons. Brain has got this innate ability to come up with answer, whenever a query posed to it. This answer could be in the form of a new idea. No wonder they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

Our primal brain was no different. In fact, we are now beginning to understand that even animals can think, reflect and bring about new to get food. The only problem is that they do, almost everything, for the sake of food, defence and procreation. However, there is a big difference between the primitive mind of our ancestors and ours- living in today’s modern world. We are able to think a lot more and our brain has much more ideas than theirs. From this, it is clear that our mind made us human. What brought about this change in the making of a man out of a monkey? What made our minds develop?

Our social evolution tells us that man discovered fire, developed tools and that he hunted for a living. These developed man’s mind and gradually the developed mind developed societies. The big question is, what did women do? Did they contribute to the development of human mind? Or did they just sit back idly?

With our view of women being ignorant, less intelligent and passive, and Freud even saying that women cannot contribute to civilization, women’s contribution in the evolution of human mind has not been recognized. The lack of empowerment of women did not help. The fact is that they did contribute to development of mind in their own way. In fact their necessities were more pressing.

Having come from animals, where both male and female are individually active, strict division of labour wasn’t there in the primal society. This was in fact, a later development. Practically speaking, women hunted along with men. Their babies used to cling on to their hairs. With gradual loss of body hair, women had to device ways to hold the baby and free their hands. In this instance, bag was not invented to collect berries alone; they were possibly invented to carry babies as well. Besides, unlike animal babies, our babies cry. This required measures to pacify them. In short, women were not sitting idly and doing nothing. They were active, their minds were active and they definitely contributed to the development of both mind and society. Following women’s empowerment, they are claiming their rightful position. Irrespective of that, their role in the development of the human mind is fully recognized in the book ‘Women’s Power : Its Past, Its present, Its Future: Femocracy’.

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