Recently, because of “Women’s Equality Day,” I have seen some questions about matriarchal societies. Do they even exist?

The Dutch naturalist Frans de Waal believes they do: He cites our close relatives, the bonobos, as an example. Talking about our oversexed cousins is always fun. But people are starting to challenge de Waal’s research. There was an article about this in the New Yorker magazine last week.

Anyway, here’s the party line: Bonobos are peaceful creatures who work out all of their problems through sex, not violence.

*And they are ruled by females.* Figures, doesn’t it?

de Waal writes:

“What actually fascinates me more is the puzzle of how bonobo society came to be female-centered and pacific. The answer has implications for the evolution of human sexuality and gender relations. Every program in women’s studies should include a little excursion into the world of the bonobo.”

Bonobos are not some bizarre, exotic life form that we can easily push aside when debating human nature. They share more than 98% of our DNA.

Anyway, here is group therapy “bonobo style”:

“Any tension within a bonobo group is normally resolved by a quick orgy, in which they all have sex with one another, in all positions and combinations.”

I belong to a humor group called aus.jokes, and there’s one guy who has the following “signature”:

“Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him
without an erection, make him a sandwich.”

Well, why not have both?

Bonobos do.

Dr. de Waal observed a group of bonobos in the San Diego Zoo (one of the largest in captivity). He writes:

“I spent entire days in front of the enclosure with a video camera, which was switched on at feeding time. As soon as a caretaker approached the enclosure with food, the males would develop erections.

And even before the food was thrown into the area, the bonobos would be inviting each other for sex: males would invite females, and females would invite males [etc,].”

I suggest you leave the grandkids at home.