If early woman had picked up a spear, where would the women’s movement be today?
Cave woman’s main objectives were berry picking, keeping a nice cave and raising offspring while cave man ran around with his pals, spear in hand chasing mammoth and other beasts.
When cave man returned from the hunt, he surely threw down a slab of meat, said “Ugg”, built a fire and then retired to the cave to make cave drawings.
Meanwhile cave woman tired from gathering things all day, prepped and cooked the meat over an open fire pit, nursed the babies and protected the cave toddlers from the fire and then spent the evening tanning mammoth hide and creating fashionable clothing for the entire family.
Even then, cave man had the better end of the deal, the thrill of the chase, camaraderie, action, and adventure and yes, risk of potential and untimely death – affirmative.
So what if cave woman had picked up that spear?
Well, some would argue: who would have watched the cave babies?
Well, there must have been cave grandma’s and grandpa’s, teenagers, elder aunts and uncles, unable to keep up with the hunt, who could have helped raise the kids.
Bringing the women on the hunt would have meant more hunters, maybe even a slightly different skill set or perspective, potential for bigger and better prey.
Yet, if cave woman died, who would have the babies? Well, when cave man died, procreation continued.
In addition, one could argue that not every cave woman possessed the desire or endurance to join the hunting party, so there would still be new cave babies born.
During the hunt, would the cave men spend all of their time protecting the cave women and therefore be less productive or at greater risk of death? Maybe, that was their natural instinct.
Finally, would cave woman be able to protect cave man when necessary?
Consider the following scenario: while cave man was out on the hunt, cave woman was alone with the cave babies and sometimes a hungry cave bear entered the compound…
I would be willing to bet that whenever that happened, cave man returned weary from the hunt, to find bear meat roasting over an open fire pit.