Beginning in January and running through June of each new year, the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles hosts an event called First Friday. I love going for a number of reasons, mostly because I love this museum and getting to be in there at night is so much fun! I love the gems, the discovery center - where you can touch things and not be asked to leave, the massive bird exhibit, the insects! I also love that this event is done in conjunction with USC, so there are always amazing and informative speakers.
This past Friday I headed out to the museum, inching my way through suck ass Friday night traffic (The lecture starts at 6:30 and it takes me over an hour to drive the six miles - this is how much I like First Friday) to hear Dr. Amy Parish discuss Darwinism and Feminism in the captive bonobo population that she has been studying for the last 20 years.
What you may be asking yourself is a bonobo? Bonobos are one of the two species comprising the Chimpanzee genus (I just copied that from her bio - I don't normally talk like that). In my own words, bonobos more slender versions of chimps. After hearing Dr. Parish speak I can also tell you that bonobos societies are run by the ladies and everyone has a lot of sexy time. Girl on girl, boy on girl, boy on boy and all of this sexy time is about who has the food and who wants it. There's a lot of masturbating going on with these guys as well. They are pretty much non-violent. The connection is pretty obvious to me. What's interesting about bonobos is that, unlike Chimps (and humans) they are not a patriarchal society where everything revolves around the males and violence against females is tolerated. No, with the bonobos the females are boss by virtue of the close bonds that non-kinship females form with each other. The females can, and do band together to dominate and control the males.
There is no abuse against females. If a male steps out of line the females get together and shut that shit down.
It's hard not to imagine what would happen in human societies if the same thing were true and certainly underscores the years of bondage that women have endured under patriarchy. I believe that in someplace in the prehistoric part of the brain, men know that if the women got together, and had each others backs things would change.
If you extend the bonobos model, on a positive note for the boys, they would probably get more sex.
These lectures are always given in the North American Mammal hall, lined with dioramas, and they are always packed so if this sounds like something you'd like to do buy your tickets ($12 for admission only, $18 for admission + concert) buy your tickets early and on line.
Next month the topic will be, "Why Pluto Had to Die" and the guy who killed Pluto, Dr. Mike Brown will be there.
If you go be sure to check out the new dinosaur wing - it's pretty awesome. There are now food trucks out front in addition to the food that they serve in the Great African Hall and as always there is music and dancing and all kinds of people.
I love LA!
Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007