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Thread: Primal Women - did cave girls really exercise as much as men? page 2

  1. #11
    Figlio di Moros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I did a really cool thing with the samburu tribe while I was there. It was a demontration on how to build their temporary dwellings which were made out of leaves and branches and mud. A "good" samburu woman *should* be able to get one erected in 45 minutes by herself, and about 15 minutes when she's got help of other ladies -- once the materials have been gathered... In the demonstration, each woman (like myself) was shown the process by a samburu woman. Then, we were set to the task with our mentors of building this temporary dwelling. Can I tell you that it was such hard work that it took me 1.5 hours (the usual time for a person, with a helper, who had never done it before), and that I was sore the next day? As in, every part of my body?
    So, it took you longer the first time you tried something, than women who've been doing it their entire life? Ever seen an Amish man drive stakes or raise barns from dusk to dawn?

    Part of the reason that we have more body fat is so that we can do all of this stupid work. We are sturdier.
    Women can be much stronger than society puts on, no doubt, but I doubt it equals "studier". After all, the extra body fat is centered around your breasts, hips, ass, and thighs- all associated with stable, stored supplies for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Remember how many calories are stored in a single pound of fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luce View Post
    The no knives having explains why social organization haven't change that much, otherwise there would be a lot less males and many widowed women around
    I fail to see the humor. Then again, such a society of "Women with knives"(not including the traditional farm girl who knows how to butcher a pig, apparently) would suffer both in absolute and comparitive terms. No men around, no wild game and no protection against neighboring tribes, and no more babies. The effects of a manless society would be devastating, especially for hunter-gatherers.
    Last edited by Figlio di Moros; 07-14-2012 at 10:52 AM.

  2. #12
    Uncephalized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    So, it took you longer the first time you tried something, than women who've been doing it their entire life? Ever seen an Amish man drive stakes or raise barns from dusk to dawn?
    I think men in farming societies work much harder than typical hunter-gatherer men. The sexual division of heavy physical labor may even be reversed between farming and HG societies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Women can be much stronger than society puts on, no doubt, but I doubt it equals "studier". After all, the extra body fat is centered around your breasts, hips, ass, and thighs- all associated with stable, stored supplies for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Remember how many calories are stored in a single pound of fat.
    I think both sexes are capable of some impressive physical feats, but it's definitely not the case that women have a higher capacity for work than men do. Interestingly though it's well-known in the strength world that women have a higher strength endurance than men do--they have less absolute strength, but they can operate at a higher percentage of their maximum for longer than men can before failure/exhaustion. So a woman might be able to put out 8 reps at 80% of her 1RM when a man might only be able to do 5, but his 1RM will be a larger percentage of his body weight for the same exercise. Probably reflects the physiological need for explosive strength (useful for hunting and fighting both) in men as opposed to extended, more moderate physical labor for women, I would think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    I fail to see the humor.
    I get the impression you are not American (pardon me if I'm assumign incorrectly!). I don't know if it's the same where you live, but there seems to be a meme in our culture that men are to be managed and kept in their place by the mentally-superior women "for their own good" or for the good of society, perhaps because we are judged to be incompetent or undesirably unruly. It's not explicitly stated but I hear undertones of it quite frequently even in advertisements and TV shows, as well as in conversation by women and even some men. You see it often in the stereotypical sitcom portrayal of the fat/loud/obnoxious/bumbling husband who somehow married an attractive, articulate and put-together woman who constantly has the upper hand in all disputes while performing with supreme competence in everything she does. I don't think it's very funny either, but then, I'm male. And of course I can't blame a historically-oppressed group's members for harboring some resentment or schadenfreude against their perceived oppressors, if that is what's going on (I have no idea if this is the motivation or not, but it springs to mind as one possibility).

    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Then again, such a society of "Women with knives"(not including the traditional farm girl who knows how to butcher a pig, apparently) would suffer both in absolute and comparitive terms. No men around, no wild game and no protection against neighboring tribes, and no more babies. The effects of a manless society would be devastating, especially for hunter-gatherers.
    I have a hypothesis I came up with in this vein a little while back, which is that hunting is not, primarily, about obtaining food. Gathering and hunting small game is more productive and reliable. Men are essentially kept around because of their ability to fight. But to fight well requires training and coordination, as well as the development of very specific skills. These skills could be sharpened by actual combat training, but that would take up most of the men's time and not produce anything of material value for the group. Hunting large game is an opportunity to combine practicing for fighting, since the skills and coordination necessary to hunt in a group would have a large overlap with those needed to fight in a group, with an activity that also pays part of their carrying costs by bringing in a non-negligible amount of food.

    Women and children would eat better in many cases with no men around--because gathering is more efficient than hunting. But the society would get wiped out by rivals that had men. Game hunting is then the strategy that gives the most efficient combat training while also reducing the costs of feeding the fighters. It makes sense with the idea that the best hunters are also the most desirable mates, because not only are they directly providing food, they are also demonstrating their proficiency at a skill that is used as a proxy to judge prowess in warfare.

    That's my theory, anyway.
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  3. #13
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    I used to scoff at women's predilection for aerobics and eating lots of snacks all day, but lo and behold it seems that men and women require different things to be healthy. Who'da thunk it. The whole Paleo movement has been remarkably phallocentric, actually. Smarter people than me have written about this.
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  4. #14
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    Did they "exercise" as much as men in the pure sense of the word? No way in hell.

    But did they do the kind of manual, physical, and general labor that forced them to put their whole bodies into it, and keep them active for many hours daily? The kind of labor that almost made exercise irrelevant to them? You can rest assured they did.

    The reason women might want to incorporate exercise is because there aren't many women today doing this kind of labor on a daily basis any more. Exercise can help folks (men and women alike) who don't lead physically strenuous lives to maintain the benefits that such a life would have afforded to people in the past.

  5. #15
    Figlio di Moros's Avatar
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    I think the term is "androcentric", as in focused on men, not penises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    I think both sexes are capable of some impressive physical feats, but it's definitely not the case that women have a higher capacity for work than men do. Interestingly though it's well-known in the strength world that women have a higher strength endurance than men do--they have less absolute strength, but they can operate at a higher percentage of their maximum for longer than men can before failure/exhaustion. So a woman might be able to put out 8 reps at 80% of her 1RM when a man might only be able to do 5, but his 1RM will be a larger percentage of his body weight for the same exercise. Probably reflects the physiological need for explosive strength (useful for hunting and fighting both) in men as opposed to extended, more moderate physical labor for women, I would think.
    Makes sense- building a mud hut doesn't require anything especially heavy, but carrying a moose(or Mammoth) back to camp requires some impressive strength, and hunting it in the first place requires some explosiveness.

    I get the impression you are not American
    Actually, my family's been here since Jamestown's third wave- I'm aware of the stereotypes, I just don't find it particularly funny. Then again, if I told her what to say to a woman with two black eyes, she might not appreciate it, either. The difference is, I've got to listen to women bitch all day about how much men suck, that we're all a bunch of assholes and treat them like shit. Maybe if you lost the weight, didn't feel entitled to drink away mens cash, and weren't a total bitch, men might find you valuable for something other than sex. But if I pointed that out, I'd be the sexist.

    I have a hypothesis I came up with in this vein a little while back, which is that hunting is not, primarily, about obtaining food. Gathering and hunting small game is more productive and reliable. Men are essentially kept around because of their ability to fight. But to fight well requires training and coordination, as well as the development of very specific skills. These skills could be sharpened by actual combat training, but that would take up most of the men's time and not produce anything of material value for the group. Hunting large game is an opportunity to combine practicing for fighting, since the skills and coordination necessary to hunt in a group would have a large overlap with those needed to fight in a group, with an activity that also pays part of their carrying costs by bringing in a non-negligible amount of food.
    Possibly, but then again, there was much more large-game during the last Ice Age. It's possible hunting was far more effecient then, providing much more meat than large game today. On the other hand, nearly all remaining hunter-gather societies have come into contract with agricultural societies. Since "Patriarchy" has a comparative advantage over non-patriarchial societies, the remaining pseudo-agricultural and hunter-gathering societies likely had to adapt such means, anyways, to neutralize the strengths of those societies, or were otherwise overrun by them.

    Then again, it could just be completely natural, which would contradict a feminist society.

  6. #16
    fuzzylogic's Avatar
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    Well....women can hunt and fight just fine. We only need a few men around on an intermittent basis to impregnate us, as most of a tribe doesn't need to be simultaneously pregnant and a batch of kids can be quite skillfully watched by one or two people: possibly elder people who can no longer hunt.

    I find most men stunningly useless. They can't or won't clean up after themselves, expect to be waited on and can't multitask for beans. They're just about useful for their penises, and most of them aren't particularly skilled there, either.....

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    So, it took you longer the first time you tried something, than women who've been doing it their entire life? Ever seen an Amish man drive stakes or raise barns from dusk to dawn?
    Yes, i used to live in PA. But, it's usually a group effort, and yes, most of their labor is hard. They also tend to be "sturdier" than other folks (not htat other folks aren't capable of getting sturdy).

    Point was that "primitive" women work hard. Not that men are better than women or women better than men. But, I do believe that the reason why women carry more body fat is so that we are "sturdier" in general. There are certain benefits to it in terms of things like: carrying children to term, nursing them even in times of famine, and being able to do other work besides.

    Honestly, it's not tried, tested and true, btu I think that larger body types -- in general (the endomorph) -- is a sturdier body type than my own (ecto-meso, a bit closer on the ecto side of things). I think that it's more likely to survive famine, is typically stronger (and can LHT for a longer time), and also those folks tend to have a great temperament that seems to make them really resilient. And that's men or women.

  8. #18
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    Also, I was making no comment on the "usefulness" or "purpose" of men. I like having men around, and think that they are seriously awesome and useful.

    I was simply pointing out to the OP that "primitive" women "worked out" just as hard as primitive men, so there's no way to "bow out" of PB style exercise just cuz you a girl.

  9. #19
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    In most hunter-gatherer societies, collecting firewood and water is women's responsibility. That means a lot of heavy lifting.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabbcakes View Post
    Here in this county where I currently live, the biggest compliment you can get is someone describing you as "a good Christian woman".

    Back in the village, the biggest one is "she is always industrious and works HARD".
    Huh, around here the biggest compliment is "clever". Usually accompanied by "bastard" or "bitch" depending on your gender.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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