Natural gynocentrism fallacy

This expanded Wiki4men article outlines the ‘natural gynocentrism fallacy,’ a concept coined by Hanna Wallen. – Ed.

The Natural gynocentrism fallacy refers to the belief that sexually mature women are the most important unit of the human species due to the role they play in reproduction – ie. it is a belief in which women are assumed to be more valuable to human society and to human relationships than are men and children. A corollary assumption is that women’s lives and wants should be prioritized over those of men and children. Natural gynocentrism involves a denial of the fact that all adult humans, including women, are child-centric, gene-centric, and utilitarian toward that end, and a denial that women’s evolutionary value is thus as an instrument of the child’s creation and protection and not because her gender is valued per se outside this utilitarian function.

Successful pregnancies, the proposed motive for a lifelong prioritization of women, typically occupied around 5% of a woman’s life in recent history, and less than 2% of lifespan today if women choose to have any children.1 When breast feeding and infant care are added to the equation these percentages can be extended marginally, however in the context of traditional extended families who share care of older children this still leaves the majority of women’s life-span without rationale for gynocentric prioritizing or pedestalizing. Even in the short female life-spans of women during paleolithic and neolithic periods a significant percentage of these women did live into old age and beyond reproductive usefulness (NB. averaging out infant deaths with deaths in old age gives a misleading impression that all women died at 30 years of age).2

Individuals perpetuating the argument that human culture “can’t overcome natural gynocentrism” have failed to see that women’s role in reproduction is actually the opposite of gynocentrism, and that women’s evolutionary role involves treating women like men – ie. that women are only important because of what they can (and/or are expected to) do as utensils for perpetuation of the species.

Hannah Wallen, who coined the phrase natural gynocentrism, illustrates the fallacy with the following example:

An example that demonstrates this is in a disaster movie where a family is on the mountainside of a volcano that is erupting, and they’re trying to escape down the mountain. They take a boat through a waterway only to discover it’s acidic. They’ve lost their ability to propel the boat and the liquid is eating through it. Grandma sacrifices herself to save the rest of the family, and she can because she’s done having babies, while the other adults in the boat are actively involved in raising children. So-called “natural gynocentrism” is about children and does not contribute to or make inevitable the irrational gynocentrism we see in modern culture.3

Wallen summarises that gynocentrism is not a naturally occurring phenomenon, is not inevitable, and is something that can be corrected. She states that historical gynocentric attitudes that have been been treated as natural and as the reason why gynocentrism could never be eliminated are false, and the reality is that women (and men) have child-centric & gene-centric attitudes.4

References:

[1] Fertility Rates, Our World In Data
[2] Hunter-gatherers lived nearly as long as we do but with limited access to healthcare
[3] Twitter comment, Apr 21, 2023
[4] Private communication (April 2023)

* * *

See also: Bio-gynocentrism: Turning Science Into Goddess Worship

Leave a Reply