Women and Reproduction
Women are interesting because they are the mainstay of reproduction, in other words the Darwinian DNA replicator and the memetic replicator meet there.
You could talk about how memes that control men can govern behavior like war and industry, but with women it can more directly impact and control the actual evolution of the species, i.e., the direction that natural selection takes.
DNA-based organisms are the substrate, the first replicator (see Blackmore, Darwin) upon which the second replicator, memes, rests.
My question is whether the memetic "software" is able to talk to the genetic "hardware," in what ways, and what influence, if any, does it have?
Naturally this line of reasoning only applies to humans, since they are the only animal that interacts memetically.
The question is why humans "be all doin' dumb shit all the time and not thinkin' nothin' of it?" And why reason and logic consistently fail to change people's minds from "clearly" irrational viewpoints and how liberals propose education and it never seems to work.
For instance, it's pretty obvious that while, in American society (and elsewhere), women suffer a great deal of oppression at the hands of men and discrimination by society in favor of men at their expense, women also are the victims of an enormity of internalized oppression which they visit upon themselves and upon other women. One theory of immunomemes is that they are not completely implemented until the oppressed group begins to shame, bully, and oppress themselves and thereby keep themselves under control. Constant policing from outside is too expensive and unreliable.
Women Flocking to Oppressive Religions
I take an example of women who join an oppressive religious cult which seems to degrade them and make them have lots of babies in ways that activist women (rightly) cite as degrading. One result is that if a woman follows the rules, she may be guaranteed the total loyalty of a single man (and his family and her own), and the support of a whole community. The result is that she also gets to have a large(r) number of children who will also be looked after by the memetic cohort, resulting over time that there are more and more people who are inured of the (mega)memeplex.
I also notice that oppressive (misogynist) cults seem to pull in a disproportionate number of attractive women, which on the face of it seems counter-intuitive. Attractive women should be at an advantage over "unattractive" women in terms of manipulating men and society in general and getting what they want, so one might think that the unattractive women would be the ones to trade their freedom for the support which a cult offers, and not the other way around. However, a preponderance of attractive women tends to pull more men into the cult, fostering membership growth, and also a genetic disposition toward attractiveness over the long term, i.e., a positive genetic driver toward the growth of misogynist cults. On top of that, in an oppressive society which demands "virtue" from women (1), cult membership (2) provides a measure of safety from the machinations of the misogynist society (3). Indeed, women so protected are free to engage in behaviors denied "free women." (5,6).
One could say that cults provide a way for women to officially establish their place in society (9), as firmly and legally as getting a driver's license, a court decision, etc., indeed, a marriage (8) is just the same sort of thing.
Could this be an example of the memetic stratum exercising influence on the genetic stratum and vice-versa in a kind of loop? Is this theoretically even possible? Of course it is. That's how we evolved to be memetic creatures (see Blackmore, et al.). The interesting lesson here may be that it's difficult to uproot such memetic systems (when is it not?) or impossible if one goes about it the wrong way.
(1) whatever "virtue" means and however it's defined, typically very narrowly
(2) I mean "cult" in a broad sense, i.e., any religious denomination or organization
(3) which has many legal and other devices (4)
(4) See City of Moscow, Idaho ordinance 2002-13 prohibiting toplessness by women and the penalties imposed by same (6 months in jail and $500 fine). Obviously an example of a harsh oppression of women (watch out, women of color, especially), in this case ex officio (13).
(5) Unmarried women in Southeast Idaho as recently as the 1970s were not allowed, either by law or established practice (7), to buy and own automobiles or other property, see a gynecologist, open bank accounts, etc.
(6) Beauty and gregariousness, for example, on the part of unmarried women arouses suspicion and official scrutiny in misogynist societies, while they are seen as a virtue when one is married.
(7) Bankers, gynecologists and other doctors, car dealerships, etc., would simply not do business with unmarried women, making for extralegal, unofficial discrimination and oppression.
(8) And in the USA, marriage in a cult is officially recognized as the same thing as a legal marriage, so it is both a social and a legal "act." (13)
(9) In the film, The Madness of King George, and elsewhere, by the way, George III refers to himself as "England." This is fairly obvious, since every time England or any other country installs a new monarch, the name of the whole country is not changed to "Plantagenet" or "Hanover" or "The Orange Isles" or suchlike. That would be ridiculous. Instead, the monarch takes the name of the country, often changing their [sic] own name, e.g., "Charles the n-plus-first of England." (10,11)
(10) e.g., George VI of England's original name was Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor.
(11) I was long troubled by the practice of women changing their names (12) to their husband's family name. I have since put some water in my wine upon reflecting on the practice of monarchy taking the name of the country they "ascend" to, in the same sense that a woman marrying into a family takes on all of the honors of possessions of her husband and his family, as do her children, despite not having "earned" them, for lack of a better expression. I know of women from modest, middle-class backgrounds who have married millionaires and billionaires and, rather like a monarch ascending to the throne of a rich nation, have immediately begun to enjoy that lifestyle. Marriage allows this to happen.
(12) In Japan, if the bride is the last of a proud family, her husband may sometimes take his wife's name in order to continue the family name. I have seen this done (once) in the USA as well, mainly because the bride's name was "cooler" or more unusual.
(13) By the way, a Federal judge recently ruled that a similar ordinance in Ft. Collins, Colorado was illegal, violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. If only someone would wake up and make a similar ruling on hospital circumcision (male genial mutilation, while female genital mutilation is illegal in the USA).
模倣子 Memetic Essay