Women And The Saber-Tooth Tiger
What do women really want?
Not to be eaten by a saber-tooth tiger.
Seriously, I mean that. (Hat tip to Danny)
Of course, in our more civilized world, the saber-tooth tiger is a metaphor for poverty or the inability to take care of children and/or self.
I have been told that Oprah Winfrey is so terrified of the saber-tooth tiger that she keeps a huge stash of cash hidden away so she can battle the tiger on her own. Ex-wife #1 confided to me that her worst nightmare was to become homeless. That was her metaphor for being eaten by the tiger.
Way back in the day when a good spear was better than a briefcase and cubicle job, women needed to be protected by and provided for by men. Men had the unique brains, muscle, and general overall abilities to make this happen. In a small band of hunter-gatherer humans, a coordinated group of men could serve this function quite well. Women did a fine job of gathering but protein in the form of animal flesh was an absolute necessity for strength, if not survival. Hunters were required and that meant strong, intelligent men.
As human civilization spent a few hundred thousand years in the hunter-gatherer phase and only about five thousand years in the agricultural/industrial age, the patterns of selecting a mate are hard-wired into our brains based on our hunter-gatherer past. Women want men to fight off the saber-tooth tiger. Even to this day, the first priority of women is to gain security. That security can be found in the context of a relationship with a man or with true financial independence.
No amount of social programming is going to strip away a woman’s need for security. Neither social shaming nor social expectations are strong enough to override biology. It’s readily apparent in online dating profiles when a woman states her preference for a tall man. Short men can’t fight the saber-tooth tiger and win. Sure, a short guy might build a perfectly good hut, but compared to the teeth of the tiger, the hut is not the highest priority.
Consider leadership and intelligence in the hunter-gatherer context. Compared to a saber-tooth tiger, an individual man has little chance of survival against said tiger, even with the sharpest of spears. The tiger is stronger and faster. The tiger is likely hungrier, too. So, a leader of men must coordinate his efforts with other men in order to slay the tiger. Poor leadership and coordination means six dead guys as opposed to one dead saber-tooth tiger.
As modern civilization is well upon us, there are placeholders for the alpha traits of our hunter-gatherer forefathers.
Confidence – The man has the attitude and (hopefully) the experience of killing saber-tooth tigers.
Leadership – The man has the ability to gain the respect necessary to lead other men to kill the saber-tooth tiger.
Generosity – The man is willing to share the tiger pelt and meat with her and the rest of the clan. Do tigers make for good eating? Who cares, there’s protein in the hut!
Intelligence – The man has the intellectual horsepower to find tactics and strategies to kill the saber-tooth tiger.
The physical element still remains. Women prefer tall, muscular guys. These are the obvious traits of a man who has the physical ability to kill the tiger. And what of incredibly prevalent women’s fantasies to be dominated sexually? Yeah, the tiger-killer wants his woman and won’t take no for an answer.
If one guy possesses all the traits of a successful saber-tooth tiger killer, he will likely have more than one woman competing for his affection and tiger pelt. The women involved will simply share him. Hey, it’s good to be the hunter… or king – the relatively modern manifestation of a good tiger-hunter.