What if Women Ran the World?

How would things be different if women ran the world?

I hesitate to speculate about humans, but there is one primate species where females do run things — lemurs.

After roughly 55 million years of evolution, most lemur species have females in charge.  The June, 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine (in the “Basic Instincts” column in the front) uses the example of the Coquerel’s sifaka, in which females get the first choice of food and resting sites, according to Chris Smith of the Duke Lemur Center. “We’ve seen females take food out of males’ mouths. And if he’s in a sunny spot she wants, she can just move toward him, and he’ll make a submissive cackle and get out of the way.”  If a male displeases her, a female may push or slap him or rip his fur out.  For the brief period each year when they want to mate, females “are little hussies,” says lemur researcher Lydia Greene.  “They completely control which mates they want and how many.”

Unfortunately, lemurs are in trouble.  In their native Madagascar, they’ve lost 90 percent of their habitat. Of 103 lemur species and subspecies, 49 are endangered and 24 are critically endangered.


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