Have we been fobbed off for millions of years?

As I have had a very demanding 10 month old for the past few weeks with molar teething...it got me thinking.

My whole life I have accepted the fact that once upon a time men were the 'Hunters and Gatherers' and women bore children and cooked. Ermmmmm as though killing a blimming rabbit or a phesant has anything compared to childcare/cooking/housework!!!

I am quite a physical lady, do a trad male job.....very sporty etc and it made me think that if me and OH lived 100,000 years ago I would most def be the better hunter out of the two of us.....OH couldnt swat a fly (very good with computers but not much help when you live in a cave)......I dont have much fear and would see it is a nice challenge to wrestle a wild bore haha

Then I thought about if I lived around Henry IIIV's time - engaged to be married at 12, married at 14, first of 9 kids at 15.......OMG how did those women cope???

Then it got me thinking - although us ladies have it 'easier' in terms of washing machines/electric/toys etc we have actually lost the 'community' feel. I was debating this with OH....when he said 'women have done it for millions of years' and I agreed 'yes they have BUT they also lived as one whole family...so I would live with grandmother, mother, sisters, sister-in-laws, cousins etc and childcare/housework was done as a group, even in lots of cultures today the women of the family all help each other. As it happens, my grandmothers dont live close, my mum works fulltime, I have no sisters and my sister in law lives in another continent'

Not moaning or debating - I was just pondering life at 05:30am as I sat on my stairs eating my crumpets (I put LO in living room, baby gate up and eat my crumpets on the stairs in peace......I love that '5 min break of the day)........

Do you think we have it harder or easier?

Do you think you could have been the 'hunter/gatherer'? have we been fobbed off for centuries that this is the harder job? did the amazonian women have the right idea?

Hehe Friday's food for thought x


  • Lol I love thoughts like this.

    Well first off..if a man couldn't hunt he'd be puhed off by natural selection lol and being as stubborn as they are they'd probably let that happen before they'd even consider you hunting for them!

    I agree that they used to childcare in groups and that we do miss out on that but they also made us wear corsets to hide our bellies and put us into a dark room at the end of pregnancy because it was seen as 'disgusting' to see a heavily pregnant lady. And if you had money, you had maids and wet nurses who would look after baby so you may hardly see them.

    I think woman had the better job...cooking cleaning and looking after baby gets easier with time...let them all run around a field getting sweaty chasing a chicken lol when it got hard was when we went to work and were expected to keep doing everything!
  • haha brilliant! This is like some thoughts i go off on,i love it,oh calls me random.
    I think i'd be the one to stay in the cave but then oh is better at the cooking so maybe we'd do half ans half,i could go out and vent some frustration at some bears maybe while he was home prep'ing dinner!?! Did the really prep dinner though,can't remember when fire was "invented" now,hmmm.
    I dont think i'd have much enjoyed babys at 15 or being strapped into a tiny corset lol!
    Goto go,poo attack and need to take dd1 to school eek!
  • Lol I love thoughts like this.

    Well first off..if a man couldn't hunt he'd be puhed off by natural selection lol and being as stubborn as they are they'd probably let that happen before they'd even consider you hunting for them!

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • Love this sort of thought! Makes a nice change from all the baby gumpf buzzing round head!

    I think if a woman was so inclined to do the hunting, she would probably end up doing both jobs!

    As for the community issue...personally i'd rather have granny around every day than say, a microwave, I know there are alot of ladies out there who would rather give their right arm than have their mums or mils around!! I guess there are costs and benefits of both. At the end of the day, motherhood is Tough, with or without a 'hunter' or a community, gadgets or none, when it comes down to it, you are the be all and end all for your baby in those early days and thats really hard work!

    Em x
  • Love this

    I think I would prob be the hunter...although if it was me now I really wouldn't catch anything...I'm so unfit at the moment I can barely wall to the toilet without stopping for breath (maybe a slight exaggeration but you get the jist) never mind running around trying to catch some animal!
    Like you hubby is better with computars (aka FIFA etc lol)

    looking after a baby is harder...in the sense it's non stop! They constantly need to be entertained! Like last night, it all got to me a bit that hubby came home from work and that was him done for the day....but I still had to sort Elliott out...rock him to sleep...twice!!! And then finally got to rest...but as a mum it's never over as you are constantly 'on call'
  • Haha, love the thought for the day!

    G/c from pregnancy image

    I wouldn't so much mind being the 'homemaker', looking after the kiddies if that was all i did lol. At the minute I'm up at six to sort the kids, drive them to my mums then off to work, full days work then picking the kids up, home for about half five to start dinner (hubby doesn't cook). By the time I've stopped and the kids are washed/put to bed it's 8pm and hubby wonders why i'm shattered and just want to sleep lol

    I think it was easier when women stayed at home with the kids, but trying to hold down a full time job AND look after the kids/hubby at the same time is hard!
  • I would deffo be the baby minder I have laods of patience whereas oh has non he loves his kids but he can't put up with childcare for long periods of time, I also have the upper body strength of a worm lol so wouldn't rely onn me to bring home the bacon I could probably spear it but would have to leave it dead in field as wouldn't be able to carry it home lol lol
  • I think wrestling a wild boar would be a doddle compared to trying to get Hannah dressed. Its like wrestling a wild goat anyway!

    Definitely couldn't/wouldnt want to be the hunter gatherer. We would live off berries, and even then I would probably pick the poisonous ones by accident!

    Love the randomness, I also sit on the stairs to eat kitkats in peace from Hannah image
  • What a brilliant ponder image I love having random thoughts like this - Like HappyMrsG my husband also thinks i'm a random person when I come out with things like this!

    Anyway - my husband would have been amazing in caveman times! I call him my hunter/gatherer now cos he is such a bloke in that sense. We have a very traditional set-up in our house but with a few modern twists. I'm thankful he's a good metro-modern man who still wants to be the man of the house but will also dip his toe into some homely stuff if needs be. He never expects anything or see's something as 'my job' nor vice versa. We just kinda have a mutual understanding of what falls into his best points and what falls into mine! Perhaps why in 6yrs we've not argued once?

    I think being a cavewoman would be ace i'd be rubbish at hunting and killing a wild boar though whereas my husband would be well up for it the nutter!! I couldn't even hunt a lil rabbit - i'd need to leave the gore to DH!

    I'd happily tend to a veggie patch outside out cave though!

  • Oh dear! Right, word of warning. I am a historian of gender and gender relations - so this could be a bit of an essay! image

    It is worth remembering that, while there are biological differences between the sexes, gendering is very much a social process and dependent on the time and place in which it happens. So a lot of our ideas about sex difference and separation of spheres dates for the Enlightenment (when intellectuals started to theorise human nature and came up with the delightful theory that women (and children) aren't fully human) and the Industrial Revolution when one way for the newly emerging middle classes to distinguish themselves from the working classes was the 'separate spheres' ideology in which women didn't have to 'go out' to work in dirty dangerous mills but stayed home with the children. This then trickled down to the aspirational working classes, along with the concept of the male breadwinner, which promptly removed any sense of status from the bearing and raising of children. Before this cottage industry meant that men and women often both worked from home and children would have been considered adults a hell of a lot earlier than today so the burden of home making would have been a very, very different experience. Even in potentially male-dominated spheres, such as the army, you had female camp followers who could be as tough as the men and an upper-class woman left in charge of her husband's estates while he was away fighting could wield huge amounts of influence over men and women alike. Class counted for a great deal more than sex in that sort of situation.

    As I say, things changed significantly after the Industrial Revolution with the idea of 'home' being separate from 'work' and childraising becoming a) a discipline in its own right and b) something associated with home and the feminine (there is lots of really interesting stuff about historical concerns about the influence of women on how boys are raised in particular). You do still have a sense of community in terms of extended families helping to raise children but it would be much less than, say, an entire community or noble household, as in Henry VIII's day.

    So, after all the rambling (sorry!) my point is that I don't think women have been fobbed off for millions of years. Understandings of what it is to be a woman have changed, sometimes very drastically in very short spaces of time, and we (men and women) adapt as best we can. Yes, you might have been married at 14 and had your first child by 15. You would also be lucky not to be dead in childbirth or from the next child a year later (or the one after that or the one after that). Having a large community around was a necessity if the mother might not be around to raise the child. That, thank goodness, isn't a problem today, but it does present a problem about the roles of both mothers and fathers in raising a child that just wouldn't have been an issue 400 years ago.

    Sorry, does that all make sense? I'm afraid I couldn't resist, as this sort of thing is like catnip to me! :lol: And I doubt I would have managed as a hunter or a gatherer (traditionally a female job if you look at the social structures of Native Americans). An early agriarian, though sounds more my cup of tea. image
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