Monday, January 12, 2009

Sex and War!

Comes from our own Salama Cooper. Enjoy!

Hi guys!

So, some of us have been blessed to see the New Year. Thank God.
As I mentioned in my new years's eve post when reflecting last year, that, Gaza was already in flames, and it's still is. We discussed about it here in this blog, and I'm so glad that I've been able to share opinions with some of the most brilliant Tanzanian's brains.

During the holidays, I read this interesting book. The timing, kind of lined up itself with some of the current events happening around the World. It's about War, Terrorism, Violence and yes, Sex. Me and my POLLUTED MIND!, jumped into it when I first learned about it but, it wasn't what I thought it was. (lol)

SEX AND WAR, by Malcom Potts and Thomas Hayden, is about how biology explains WARFARE and TERRORISM and Offers a path to a safer World. In their foreword they say, "As news of war and terror dominates the headlines, scientist Malcom Potts and veteran journalis Thomas Hayden take a step back to expain it all. In the spirit of Guns, Germs, and Steel," ( which is another great book by the way) "SEX AND WAR asks the basic questions: Why is war so fundamental to our species? And what can we do about it?"

In sex and violence, they explained that killing other members of our own species is a male behaviour that evolved early in our history because, " those individuals who manifested such a predisposition were more likely to transmit their genes to the next generation than those who didn't. War and Violence then, are indelibly linked to sex and reproduction...small groups of men who were prepared to attack their neighbors and steal their resources, and who could seduce or coerce women for sex, ended up having more offspring. Women meanwhile, were more likely to improve their reproductive success and have more children by aligning themselves with successful violent men rather than joining raids and risking death themselves..." (page 2)

They gave the example of some rich and powerful men throughout history and across cultures, typically had more sexual partners and thus more offspring than those lower in the social hierarchy. e.g, King Solomon, 700 wives and 300 concubines (Damn! 1000 women!), Idi Amin, four wives and thirty children. Harems were the order of the day for Egyptian Pharaohs, the Turkish Sultans, the African Kings and the Chinese Emperors to name a few. And even in our days, with some of our leaders, we've seen how power has been used to allocate sexual opportunities for men.

Women, on their part have a very significant role in the battle among the sexes, in the history of War and Terrorism. According to the book, If women are given the freedom they need and choices to decide what to do with their own reproduction systems, they can change this World to be a safe and better place to live. It's bizarre that some societies are still denying women freedom on what to do with their own production systems. In page 322, they explained that, "Family planning provides a key that can open the door to better health, well-being, and security. it's basic autonomy and contributes to the health of women and their children, also, it improves access to education and accelerates economic proggress."

I was able to come across this NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE extract about the book, by Matthew Philips

"Sex and Violence seem like polar opposites. Humans seem capable of keeping them apart. Or may be not. The big Idea. In the book M. Potts and T. Hayden, probe the biological basis for the two acts and argue that, in fact, they're more closely connected than we might think...violent behaviour grew indelibly linked with sex and reproduction. Simply put: those who did lots of the former got to have more of the latter. It's why even today, football players (or athletes generally) tend to get more dates than math nerds. The Evidence. Humans are the rare mammals that kill their own kind. A behavior traced by scientists back to our closest relatives, chimpanzees, which have been observed in the wild killing of the rival families. Understanding the competition for resources-reason, in other words- turns out to be our Achilles' heels. It's why pigs and dogs, which are just as interested in sex as we are, don't kill each other for it. The Conclusion. How does the circle end? Women are the key. In the cultures where women have power over how many children to have, Potts and Hayden note, the birth rate always falls. Overtime, as the competition to survive goes down, our prospects for peace go up."

Have a nice weekend everybody.


Anonymous said...

I believe they are both of intellectuals and have deep understanding issues and professionalism, and I am absolutely clear of their activism against wars and towards World Peace in general, and thats great! but when they talk about these subject linking it to our new generation, I think they lost the cause a little bit and lack solutions on their sides. if they call that solution, then neo cons are pretty much practising, what they(Potts and Hayden) have been preaching.

The subject and linkage is too old for our generations to accept, it could have been right then but not NOW, it should be more appropriate being called Neo and obssession of Wars and more wars(write about that scientifically(lol).., because for one reason, all neo have deep belief of monogamy, and they are understandably very dangerous to the world peace, they have taken it to another level, to them sex and obssession for woman become secondary(lol), they find sexual partners in their ideas or being obssessive towards their ideology. It will be very interesting to read their take on this subject(both political and scientific understandings).

Here another point, Does Hayden and Potts, wants to change male biological behaviour to what ?? GAYISM, or the subject is, to talk about family being less responsible towards their offsprings?, and how can that be linked to the national development ? and I think that the subject they both lack understanding!, and again, it is totally, another subject and cannot be derived from war ideas. They read too much onto politics on everything, my guessing??! I will be happy, if i will be corrected on this.

I think on obession of sex and power for male counter parts, they could be right on historical context about male being dorminant, But on these generations we are living now, I think the obsession have lived to see another day on more consequencial and damaging to the society. Our generation sex obsession are being brought about by the immorals of male and female alike in this world drived for obsession of wealth, thats lead to the breakdown of our morals on our society, and not just for quest or fruitfull of wars and violence as being put by Hayden. I will give you as specific on subject, For instance whats the point of having a naked/semi naked woman on billboards advertising bridgestone tyres, and thats on itself another level of sex obssession by man, which pretty much promoted by man and inclined and accepted by woman, we all have to be blamed for these behaviour, but I will put the whole blame to Business man and Marketing dudes, with obsession of wealth for this particular of gender exploitation, in return for money, would that be called an equal right, my take is NO, and I wont give the reasons here, because we seems to misunderstood the phrase of EQUALNESS btn MAN and WOMAN.they both(Hayden and Potts) could explain that and how is that linked to war? and This is another level of obsession with sexism, as being pay to play. Therefore in my conscious thats never changed but transformed, just find another outlook, and it does not linked at all to woman having control of their reproduction in which would bring development and national movement towards that, I believe it is shaired responsibilities of both men and woman who are involved, and secondly if we man come to understand that, then that I think would bring change in peoples lives. I think both men and woman gender, should be run parallely and shared decision accordingly, which should be in equal but different terms, just like ATOM(lol).

we can learn that from an atom behaviours, what a perfect balanced creation, electrons circulating protons, with interesting cause for neutrons. WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT! lol

By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

Talking about war, Bin Laden just declared 'Jihad' on Israel on the Gaza conflict. Is he even relevant anymore? It's been a while.

Anonymous said...


From what I understand, even to our time, men have been known to taking risks or making deadly decisions more than women. That's about violent behaviour, now, when we talk about sex, Hayden and Potts not trying to change the male biological behaviour to the 'other team'

On their research they found out that, in almost all war zones they visited, violent behaviours like rapes were committed, not only that but also, they asked few men that, If they're somewhere they can't be seen, will they commit some sort violence suprisingly, few of them agreed!, with full conscious!. On top of that, we're witnessing the evils happening in the Congo everyday.

On how women are especially the key, am sure most men and women will choose to have few children if given the choice but, when it comes to family planning if (some) women are given freedom to decide what to do with it, am sure many will want to use it effectively. I still can't believe that some societies are denying women access to family planning. I know in some places it has to do with faith but..(thank God I have the freedom)
And as we all know, the less the population the more access to resources(e.g education) and thus the more economic development.

Anonymous said...

Reading this blog reminds me of my days as a first year student at Uni. Original posts are long and comments are longer so it takes me minimum 3 deys to finish orginal post before i embark on reading a response which might take minimum 2 days to understand...lakini ndio hivyo tena.

I think the whole thing is tangled on feminism and feminists who IMHO have helped to better understand world politics because they bring renewed theoretical and political insight to the field of international Politics/relations by revealing gendered nature of its foundational assumptions, the masculine identity of the core actors, structures, defining concepts, modes and purposes of social enquiry that are premised on the exclusion of women, femininity and feminism and on the pervasive presence of global gender hierarchies.

Feminist IR research exposes the male-dominance of international political-economic institutions and policy-making, the militaristic construction of masculinity in sovereign states and the dependency of men-masculinity on women and feminised others, who 'run', even if do not 'rule' the world. Most importantly, by revealing socially-constructed masculinity on women and femininity as constitutive of (sovereign) identities, (state) structures and ideologies (of nationalism, militarism, capitalist accumulation and science), feminists suggest that there are real possibilities for changing the unequal international order. Developing alternatives to this current order, however, requires challenging the normalcy of gender hierarchy, which Spike Peterson argued 'is fundamental to domination in its many guises', in part because it renders masculine domination over women, nature and feminised groups, acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Man, It is good to be home, I cannot hide my excitement It is really warm in Dar! I am craving for Supu ya Pweza, and Fried Ngisi,

GT thank you for your compliment, but I am still learning, I will try to make it(comment) short sometime in future.

I sometime wish we can listen more of woman compassion and views on things, personally I believe Bush, if seeks for advice about war from Laura Bush, then we could not had an iraq war at the first place and I tend to believe so. and that sometime make me think Obama will try to make things better, because he listen to his wife advice and he said so, Think about it, he just need to play politics smartly.

I am agreeing with you on the last point, less of us the better, but at the same time, if you think about it, don't you think, sometime it comes to our own selfishness! think about jobs, income, wealth accumulation, and so on and so forth, and when, we come to old age, particularly woman, they become so desperate for kids, and thats why we see adoption is bigger deal in western countries than the poorest countries, which tend to have bigger families in their midst.

My personal story

Munakumbuka ile post ya uendeshaji mbovu, barabarani, jana yamenitokea muuza korosho barabarani, kanijia mbele ya gari, bado kidogo nimgonge, unajua neno lililonitoka "Oya Ondoa Duka hilo", and I came to regret afterwards, it has never been my intentions of throwing that abuse to the poor vendor or degrading him in any way, it is just stress and mind pressure when driving in Dar. Hopefully I can be forgiven for that. Sorry guys to keep you boring!

It has been really quiet on here??

Che Solasi said...

Salama, you have articulate so well that I could have been lost in the words like a thirsty man drowning in a well. While I agree with you on many points you made, I strongly disagree on the basic foundation of the theory you put forth. I aspire to see more equality between genders but I don't see giving women more authority or as you say freedom would bring peace on earth. Indeed if we rely purely on theories, one can say white people are superior than other based on how their nations are developed compared to others.
Women are not inherent weak compare to men, nor men more superior than women, yet they're different and with that difference they both need each other. If we are to make generalization an entire group of people based on what some of their constituents then how shallow would our theory be? We have seen women just like men commit same type of violence. Suicide bombings, hate crimes,... Margreth Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir all conducted wars against other nations. So where does this theory lead us on this point?
On the question of family planning, that is a family issue to be discuss first between the 2 adults. The choice should not be made by one person without consulting the other. If we are to say women should be the only ones to make these choice, they are not making a family decision rather a personal one. It takes at least 2 to make a family, if women should solely make the choice on then what will be the point of having a man in their lives. I mean think about it, how many single mother wanted to be a single parent? Yes we all are given opportunity to choose but people fail to realize the choices comes with responsibilities. To add to that, people should choose among the good not just any good or bad!
Salama you also say, "And as we all know, the less the population the more access to resources(e.g education) and thus the more economic development." I get the impression that economy should be the driving force behind almost all family decisions in your opinion. How are we to teach future generation compassion, faith, hope and all things that characterize human dignity? Should we endorse abortion because it's economical for disable children?