The lovely and talented MT has come for a visit. At the moment, he and T are upstairs, locked in a head-to-head testosterone fuelled Checkers grudge match.
I am trying to understand men and their need to compete. When T and OT (Other T) run in an organized race-type event, it isn’t just about beating their own times, it is always a friendly rivalry. I remember once we ran in a 2x5km relay. We were one team, the OTs were another. According to the Ts, the male halves of each couple were pretty closely matched in terms of speed and endurance. Thus, it came down to Wife Racing. It was the wives who were responsible for bringing home the Glory. And Heaven help us if we failed to come through. Of course, to us, the wives, it didn’t matter in the least who won. We were happy if we finished Not Last, and even happier if our times were pretty good. I cheered her on and she cheered me on. There was no hint of opposition there.
So while I am glad that it seems, under most competitive circumstances, the boys are not needing to resort to sabotage to gain an upper edge, I am framing the phenomenon, for the purposes of appellation, in a psycho-evolutionary manner.
I think it comes down to the fact that for men, for innate reasons, disporting in an atmosphere of friendly competition is simply fun. I assume it’s an evolutionary thing; the ones with the balls to compete got the ladies, thus perpetuating the species. Within the pissing contests, though, there are deeper, Freudian subtexts, and, as a result, the fact is that things are just a bit more meaningful when there is some kind of a wager involved. Women have no need to measure our…ahem…selves against each other because we know that we outnumber the men and will never be mateless, if only from a purely evolutionary point of view. So women, I think, have more fun, and get more done, with than against. Our prehistoric matriarchs fed their families by gathering food together, while the males engaged in competitions demonstrating strength and prowess; the male who managed to avoid getting gored by the buffalo got to service the women and assure his genetic immortality in descendants.
This may be where my argument falls apart, though. Because whereas nowadays, male insecurity shows up in bigger, louder, more attention-seeking toys, female insecurity is prevalent enough to show up in bigger, rounder, more attention-seeking boobs. Somehow, the male-female genetic prescription has become derailed. Still, though, if you think about it, visible traces remain in twenty-first century North America. How about those obnoxious cars with huge loud tailpipes and stereos you can feel in your chest from six cars away with your windows up. They all scream “Look at me!!!” How often do you see a woman at the wheel? Not never, I grant you, but seldom, because the women have less to prove. It’s the peacock phenomenon. But it’s okay, it’s not their fault. Billions of years of evolution is an influence too strong to resist.