Peterson drops the ball in a couple of forgivable instances here. First, many contemporary studies show that women do in fact enter an estrus state. Secondly, while he is entirely correct about women’s Hypergamy never seeking its own level, he implies here that it is singularly a man’s capacity to produce and share resources that forms the basis for women’s attraction. This is an interesting overlook when you consider how often he’s made reference to how women primarily look for sexual dominance in men. From the Beta Bucks, provisioning, side of women’s sexual strategy, a man’s capacity for production and sharing resources is certainly an attraction cue, but it is only a cue insofar as it applies to women’s long term security needs. From the Alpha Fucks, short term mating perspective, it is a man’s capacity for sexual arousal and his sexual availability to her that is the basis for assessing a man’s SMV.
I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Peterson. I count him amongst the greatest minds of Red Pill awareness, however, his analysis is often subject to a Blue Pill conditioning that predisposes him to a default belief in the inherent ‘goodness’ of the female psyche. That isn’t to say women are inherently ‘bad’, but it is to say his objectivity is colored by a want to see the feminine on a pedestal. Peterson tends to pepper in a Blue Pill conditioned masculine ridicule into his observations about men when he’s detailing gender differences and it’s his habit to presume the best from women. He accurately makes the case here for how men are continually driven by an existential crisis when it comes to being accepted by (‘perfectly well-intended’) women in passing on their genetic material, but falls into the trap of believing that women would only, logically, want to breed with men who have good long term prospects for providing and sharing resources. There’s a 30+ year body of evo-bio / evo-psych research that contradicts his presumption.
However, in this instance, Peterson hits upon the fundamental reasoning as to why men are by nature more competitive than women. Over the millennia of human evolution, the stresses of men’s breeding strategies and realities has become hardwired into the male mental firmware, and as such it has selected-for men having a more competitive nature than women. I would go so far as to suggest that competitiveness is a primary aspect of conventional masculinity – and one that requires a constant effort to socialize out of modern males today.
On the female side we have to consider how women evolved, socially and psychologically, in hunter-gatherer, foraging tribes, and how the environmental stress of maintaining a social collective shaped women’s mental firmware. It’s my belief that women’s intense need for long term security (as well as Hypergamous doubt) is directly descended from the need to hedge against the environmental uncertainties of our evolutionary past. The rigors of gestation, carrying a child to term, child birth and then rearing that child to puberty – all while gathering food and resources and defending that child and the collective against external (and sometime internal) threats selected-for women with a collectivist / cooperative mental firmware. While the men of the tribal society were off hunting game or defending the tribe, it would follow that women would develop a more unitary, collectivist social order of intrasexual cooperation in order to survive and, as Dr. Peterson points out, ensure that the genetic material of the men they selected (or were selected by) survived for posterity.
In several essays, and in my latest book, I describe women’s natural social order as the Sisterhood Über Alles. That is ‘women above all else’, and from an evolved psychological perspective this solidarity, collectivism and cooperative bent is the mental vestige of an evolution that demanded women to be so in order to survive. Evolution doesn’t care how women breed and survive, just that women breed and survive. Flash forward to modern times and we see women of every and any social, political, religious and racial stripe preempt any conviction inspired by them with the concerns of womankind.
There are several studies that indicate that collectivism is a characteristic of women’s mental firmware. When presented with the distribution of a common wealth (or resource) it’s women’s predisposition to mete those resources out to the familial, feminine-primary social group (tribe) in as even a distribution as possible, or by an individual’s most pressing needs. Again, this is convincing evidence of a mental framework that leans towards a collectivism that finds its roots in our evolutionary past.
This fundamental prioritizing of the survival, needs and best interests of women as a collective is what now forms the basis of, and drives, what I commonly refer to as the Feminine Imperative. And from the Feminine Imperative, combined with a male-permissive social structure that has allowed for women’s social primacy, we have largely developed into a feminine-primary social order that is founded on the evolved, collectivist social structure that women’s mental firmware naturally predisposes them to.
Collectivism, socialism, is a fundamental aspect of the female psyche. In a social order that prioritizes female interests above all else we see the rise and perpetuation of an egalitarian equalism that finds its roots in women’s natural predisposition for collectivism. I would argue here that the egalitarian equalism we contend with today is really a convenient cover-term for female social primacy, and one that is a result of women’s collectivist nature.
Male Dominance Hierarchies
As Dr. Peterson briefly details in this clip, it is primarily men’s performance burden (and a man’s capacity to share the fruits of it) that has historically been the basis of women’s selection criteria for the long term provisioning aspect of women’s Hypergamous natures. And as I mentioned, this only covers half of what makes for women’s true assessments of men’s sexual market value. DNA mapping of our foraging ancestors reveals the real story about the importance sexual arousal and strategic pluralism played in women’s sexual selection. Historically, only 20% of men bred with 80% of women. If we only look at this fact from Peterson’s perspective we’re left to conclude that this 20% looked like good long term prospects with resources to share, rather than consider the uglier side of Hypergamy and women opportunistically breeding with the best physical specimens they had access to and, proactively or retroactively, cuckolding the ‘good provider’. The mental schema of mate guarding didn’t develop in a vacuum – there are very good evolutionary reasons why men developed a subconscious, peripheral sensitivity to the behaviors that indicate women’s ovulatory phase.
Hypergamy doesn’t care, but it did indeed play a part in the evolution of men’s dominance hierarchies as Peterson suggests. Whether the criteria for selection was physical prowess or provisional prowess, the breeding pressures placed on men by women’s sexual strategy is responsible for a great deal of what we consider the male nature and conventional masculinity itself. While it may be a pleasant fiction for men to apply terms like strength and honor and fidelity to male-kind, those concepts exist outside the evolved male-competitive nature. Kings and emperors had breeding rights to harems while their subjects, by order of degree, had sexual access to progressively diminishing opportunities with women.
One aspect I think Peterson didn’t get around to explaining in this clip is that women have only had unilateral sexual selection opportunity in the past century due to the social and physical unfettering of Hypergamy. Being a king may’ve meant that man had more breeding opportunities than that of his lessers, but it in no way made him the best, or even the willing, choice for the women he bred with. Up until the rise of feminine social primacy, men have always had social, moral, ethical and yes, physical, means of exerting their own control over Hypergamy.
Competitiveness is what defines masculinity for every generation of men. While it may be part of women’s mental firmware to consider the collective first with regard to resource distribution, it is most definitely an evolved characteristic of men to accrue resources in order to be considered a good prospect for women’s long term security needs. When we consider the criteria women have in order for a man to represent an optimal Hypergamous prospect, it makes pragmatic sense that an innate competitiveness would be part of men’s psychological firmware. Nature would select-for a natural competitiveness in men. As such we observe that men consider merit and performance first in distributing resources (rewards) in order to recognize, in theory, an exceptionality in men. Even if it is within our selfish-gene nature to want to retain as much for ourselves (and thus make ourselves better prospects for Hypergamous optimization) we still recognize merit, or lack of it, in men’s burden of performance.
So, with regard to the bigger societal picture, what we’re seeing in our egalitarian equalist social experiment of today is not just a conflict in men and women’s social approaches, but also a fundamental conflict in which sex’s sexual strategy will be the socially predominant one. In a social sense it is a conflict in the Cardinal Rule of Sexual Strategies. Since the time of the Sexual Revolution the answer has been clear; it is women’s sexual strategy that has been allowed to define our social order.
Jack Donovan had a great post back in February titled We are not Brothers. I entirely cosign his sentiment in this essay – today men bandy around the term Brother without really considering the deeper implications that true, in-group, exclusively male, brotherhood entails. It’s a good essay, but I think one reason Jack is sensitive to the term losing its meaning is due to the efforts the Feminine Imperative has made in destroying men’s understanding of conventional masculinity. It’s deliberate, so Brotherhood means whatever the feminine feels comfortable in allowing it to mean, and it can effect control over its significance for as long as it can continue to confuse men about the sacrificial nature of conventional masculinity.
Men’s dominance hierarchies and breeding strategies predispose men to maverick independence (sigmas) or intrasexual rivalries within a fraternal group (tribes). Men’s collective, cooperative social structures – traditionally, exclusive male spaces – existed in spite of this intrasexually competitive nature. Even amongst the most steadfast, cooperative and loyal of brotherhoods there will always be intrasexual rivalries for breeding opportunities. And as Jordan B. Peterson notes, it is women’s Hypergamy that gives rise to male dominance hierarchies, but moreover it has led to the necessity for developing an evolved predisposition for men’s being competitive.
It is precisely this competitive mental firmware in men which makes it next to impossible for their to ever be a Brotherhood Über Alles – and in an age where men are shamed for masculinity, an age in which women will force themselves into male space as overseers, an age where men will adaptively define masculinity to mean whatever suits their weakest proficiencies, it’s easy to understand the difficulties in men cooperatively coming together to enforce their own collective best interests as men. In ages past, when masculine cooperation determined the fate of a tribe, a people, a nation, etc. this fraternity was a much more imperative concept for men.
It’s been noted before that in earlier eras formalized monogamy was a social adaptation with the latent purpose of solving men’s evolved imperative to ensure his own paternity. Whether this adaptation was (is) a successful hedge against women’s Hypergamy is debatable, but the relative insurance a man was afforded by formal monogamy was that he could send his genetic material on to successive generations. From an evolutionary perspective, men’s primary existential crisis is reproduction, and in order to successfully solve this problem women’s Hypergamy must be controlled for. As this push for male control superseded women’s imperatives it’s made for a social guarantee that a man would reproduce with a lessened need for competition and a lessened burden of performance for men. While high SMV men were guaranteed reproduction, the monogamy adaptation meant that, theoretically, only the lowliest of men wouldn’t find a mate.
That was the latent socio-sexual contract prior to the Sexual Revolution. Today, we see parallels for this struggle between men and women’s sexual strategies and women’s own social push to unilaterally control and institutionalize Hypergamy. Now the script has been flipped to socially create and enforce a new feminine-primary structure that has the latent purpose of ensuring even the lowest SMV woman can fulfill Hypergamy to a greater degree. Just as formal monogamy sought to ensure men could solve their reproductive purpose in spite of his performance burden, now we have women as the primary beneficiaries of a society structured to, theoretically, ensure they have access to both the best genes (Alpha Fucks) and the best provisioning (Beta Bucks) – all to the point that men are conscripted into doing so.
As women have less and less need of men who can (directly) produce and share resources the concept of masculine cooperation in enforcing their best interests becomes a farce at best, a ‘hate crime’ at worst. The more women can produce and/or consume resources, or conscript men to involuntarily produce and share, the more women lean towards the Alpha Fucks aspect of Hypergamy in prioritizing their sexual selection. As a result, male dominance hierarchies will continue to develop around the short term sexual breeding criteria of women. In the past, as per Dr. Peterson, that hierarchy may have been centered on long term provisioning; today it is all about women’s pleasure in accessing the best genetic material her evolved hindbrain determines is in her best interests.
Yet still we hear women bemoan a lack of marriageable, long term producer/sharers who are their (perceived) status equals or better (always better). The evolved need for that security providing, competent male is still part of her mental firmware, no matter what the social conventions of the Feminine Imperative are telling her conscious self. And in a pragmatic, adaptive response, men will continue to define masculinity for themselves, continue to prioritize short term sexual arousal above long term attraction, and continue to be befuddled or embarrassed by the ideas of forming Brotherhoods with any deeper meaning than what pop culture will define them for men as.
Late edit: Reader Novaseeker had a brilliant observation about the reasons women’s collectivism evolved.
The innate sisterhood, or herd, also arises from the reality that most human tribes were patrilocal and not matrilocal. That is, the core of the tribe was a group of males bonded by kin, and they brought in females from other tribes (trade/conquest) routinely for mating. Thus, the males had relatively high levels of cooperation due to being kin-bonded (not perfect levels of cooperation — rivalries always exist, violence happens in kin bonds as well — but much higher than among non-kin-bonded males), whereas the females had to adapt to cooperate with the other females despite the lack of kin bonds between them as a kind of counterweight to the innate solidarity that the kin-bonded males had vis-a-vis the females. The kind of female sisterhood/collectivism that we see in women evolved, in addition to what you write about, as well from the need to counteract the male solidarity in patrilocal tribes — women evolved to cooperate with other “strange” women in the face of this male solidarity which was based on kin bonds.
A key point of this — and something which explains much of the behavior of women *politically* in the last 200 years or so — is that the context in which this evolved was specifically to counterweigh male power. That is, because females would otherwise have remained weak and isolated in the face of a tribe of kin-bonded males, they evolved this sisterhood/collective mentality specifically to provide a counterweight to male power. This is important, because it’s this specific context in which this mentality comes to the fore most prominently in women, even today. Women can fight and scratch and claw with each other and be bitches with each other incessantly, but when one of them comes into conflict with a man or “with men”, the sisterhood/collective mindset kicks in in high gear, precisely because this is the specific context it emerged to counter. In other words, it’s specifically evolved to offset male power, to counterbalance male power, by forging solidarity between females who otherwise would not have any reason to act like a sisterhood (and who may even dislike each other).
Contemporary feminism is perhaps the most obvious form of this, but it isn’t the only one. The pronounced female in-group preference is another easy to spot one as well. But in any case, a key point to understand is that the sisterhood isn’t neutral — it’s evolved to counterbalance any kind of male power that threatens women’s interests as a group. This is the case even though women haven’t lived in patrilocal conditions for a long, long, long time, and even though contemporary men have no solidarity to speak of at all which could possibly threaten women’s interest as a group. That evolutionary history casts long shadows, and the tendency for women to see men as a cabal acting to control women — when in fact, as we all know, we’re kind of the exact opposite of that — arises from the collective evolutionary memory of adaptations to deal with the very real male solidarity females faced when they were imported into patrilocal male tribes of kin-bonded males.