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Can Darwinian Feminism Save Female Autonomy and Leadership in Egalitarian Society?

Abstract

As a Darwinian feminist I welcome any attempt at correcting the historical neglect of women’s roles in human evolution, as Rebecca J. Hannagan (2008, in this issue) does in her paper “Gendered Political Behavior: A Darwinian Feminist Approach.” There is much to be said for the view that women’s political agency in foraging societies has systematically been underestimated, due to a combination of researcher bias and the lesser visibility of women’s political strategies. As a feminist Darwinian, however, I must conclude that wishful thinking seems to have led Hannagan into overestimating the degree of female autonomy and leadership in these societies.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks to Bobbi Low for her inspiring comments on this paper.

Author information

Correspondence to Griet Vandermassen.

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Vandermassen, G. Can Darwinian Feminism Save Female Autonomy and Leadership in Egalitarian Society?. Sex Roles 59, 482–491 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-008-9478-3

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Keywords

  • Darwinian feminism
  • Gender
  • Politics
  • Autonomy
  • Leadership
  • Egalitarian society