Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

What Women Want – XXII. Shopping (3 of 5)

The cavewoman’s legacy

[What is outlined in this section is based on archeological
discoveries, evolutionary psychology (based on ancient drives
that are still alive in modern humans), common sense, and some
careful speculations on my part.  Remember that we were not there
at that time; therefore, none of us can be definitive.]

In the dawn of humanity, a deal was struck between the
sexes:  Men will do the hunting, and Women will do the gathering.

Using the primitive weapons existing in those days made
hunting a very dangerous way of making a living.  To minimize the
risks, careful planning was required.  Thus, man the planner was

Strategy was of utmost importance if the hunters were to
bring down, with relative safety, a big beast.  Thus, the
analytical male mind came into being.

Solving spatial problems such as remembering certain
landmarks, and gauging distances, was central to a successful
hunt.  Thus the male of the species acquired spatial skills and a
total inability to ask for directions!

Designating an individual to make the decisions brought us
(as the case may be) the blessing or curse of leadership.

Considering all that, did men made the better choice?  Not
by a long shot.  Then as now, we got the short end of the stick!
Gathering is an absolutely fascinating occupation.  Let me tell
you about it, I’ll then make the connection with the modern
female shoppers.

The purposes of gathering was largely (but certainly not
exclusively) to obtain food and medicine from the vegetable

1. Going out to collect all these plants was not risk-free.
A wild beast doesn’t differentiate between the hunter and the
gatherer.  Women being physically weaker than men, I speculate
that they invented weapons you can use at a distance; for
instance, spears, arrows, and sharp stones.  Fire may have been
taken with them to scare away dangerous animals.  All these new
weapons proved invaluable to the male hunters.

2. Leaving the clan’s grounds to go out was not only for the
purpose of gathering familiar plants, it was a voyage of

The woman never knew what she was going to find.  The more
she knew, the better she could fulfill her gathering functions:
Nutrition and healing.  Besides, finding new plants was an
absolute necessity.  Some plants were seasonal and would
disappear at a point in time.  In addition, the clan may be
forced to move.  Thus, she was faced with a new array of totally
unfamiliar plants.

3.  You’ve find a new plant, now what? Do you just eat it?
Gatherers have learned from past experience that some plants were
toxic, even deadly.  You can smell it, taste a tiny piece, and
above all rely on the morphology of the plant.  The shape of the
leaves, the colors, its similarity (or dissimilarity) to other
plants is a tip-off as to whether you should risk it.  Can’t you
see that these women were forced to become our early botanists
(Taxonomy, etc.)?

4.  There are even more interesting questions facing these
budding botanists/healers.

Should a toxic plant be totally ignored?  After all it’s a
potent thing.  Can it be used as a medicine, but for external use
only?  Can it diluted and used internally?

What part(s) of a plant can be used?  Its leaves?  Roots?
Stems?  Fruits?  Seeds?  Some parts only or everything in the
plant?  Should it be eaten only, or used as a medicine?  Perhaps
it is both.

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