Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ feminism

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “pfft”, speaks for itself:


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    “Try telling that to my wives.”

    Not sure Aisha’s old enough to understand.

    • nicky
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Aisha -yes, that Aisha- was the one who observed how oddly convenient-at-the-moment and self-serving Mohammad’s ‘revelations were. She basically insinuated he made them up.
      That is one of the few reasons to think there was indeed some kind of Mohammed dictating the Qur’an, conquering Mecca from Medinah, and that he is not a complete myth.

      • Posted March 11, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        There was of course a lot of myth around Mohammad, but I believe he was nevertheless a historical figure. I cannot imagine an idealized mythical prophet saying that other Muslims could have up to 4 wives, but he was entitled to more.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    One would think the treatment of women would be the demise of this religion in modern times but then, some thought the same of Catholicism. The need for fantasy is stronger than human rights.

  3. Adam M.
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I agree that Islam oppresses women in a lot of ways, but if the artist is implying that polygamy per se is one of them, I have to wonder. Given that having harems is widespread throughout apes and that successful males usually obtain harems by attracting them rather than by force, perhaps women who haven’t been raised in a monogamous culture wouldn’t find it objectionable. (Of course, Pinker has documented the negative effects on society from the violence committed by males who were left out, but that’s another matter.)

    • nicky
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Hooray! May I be a polygynist and a feminist at the same time now?

      • rom
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Is there anything wrong with polyandry?

        • nicky
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Yebo yes, these males always fight against each other.
          Polyandry is quite rare, it mainly found on islands (which would include isolated valleys like Mustang) where there is a shortage of females or, more importantly, where there is no economically viable possibility to divide the land among male descendants. Hence the several husbands in polyandry tend to be brothers. Less fighting, less division of land.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t say a harem structure is “widespread” among the apes. HERE’S a nice summary of the varied social structures to be found in primates [including us].

      To extend what we know about the other apes to human societies is very difficult – for example the male in human harems is not that much larger than the females, unlike in the case of the silverback. The human maintains his power through an extensive ‘kingly’ structure that flows well beyond the harem – lots of layers.

      You imply that human females, not raised in a monogamous structure, might be “attracted” to the benefits of joining a harem or at least that human females “wouldn’t find it objectionable” – your view has so many modifiers that I’m not sure what it really means!

      For example, is a man with two wives operating a harem or is a higher number of females required?

      Being the “junior” wife in a polygamous marriage can be a dicey proposition – no power, demands from the more “senior” wife/wives & husband/master. But of course I’m looking at it from an upbringing in an officially monogamous society.

      The human “harems” that I’ve read about have been very restrictive for the women – a sort of prison – which is not how other primates operate harems as far as I’m aware. Or does “harem” to you include the Mormon setup?

      Anyway – that’s me blathering on a subject I know little about! 🙂

      • Posted March 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Interesting link. I knew about 1 monogamous species of monkey, but did not know there were several species of primates that are monogamous. Monogamy is not ‘common’ in primates, even so, but it seems to not be super rare either.
        I would expect that these species have less sexual dimorphism since males succeed by forming long term pair bonds and not by dominating and intimidating.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          HERE’S an article from 2007 on the assumed harem lifestyle of Paranthropus robustus – one of our “early ancestors” [whatever that means! My greatetcetcetcgrandmum or one of our ancient weird cousin offshoots?].

          Like the silverback the males grow for a longer period than the females & presumably for the same reason.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted March 7, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            Just another point I would make on this. If other species treatment of one another is our guide, we have a lot to learn. Damn good thing we are not following the honey bees.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

              quite so!

          • nicky
            Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            And then we have the Orangutans -quite closely related to us-, where there are two different ‘morphs’ of males: the big overweight ‘haremholders’ and the ‘sneaky rapists’, who morphologically resemble females more than ‘big’ males.

      • Adam M.
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I’m not trying to say “harems are good”, and I don’t have a clear perception of what counts as a harem. 🙂 I’m just referring to polygamy in general, and I’m curious about whether women would necessarily find it oppressive. Polygamy seems pretty widespread in human cultures. So does monogamy, but I wonder how much of that is due to Christian influence.

        I imagine the Mormon model of polygamy is more about coercion than attraction, but I don’t really know and I don’t think it necessarily has to be that way…

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          I wonder how it would play if you reverse the polygamy? One woman with multiple husbands – how would that go, especially in Utah. It is pure demeaning to women and most people know this. Only in Islam or maybe a cult do they not know this.

      • nicky
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        the harem system is indeed not wide-spread among apes, only Gorillas and Orangutans.
        It is widespresd among human societies though. About 80% of human societies have some form of polygyny (IIRC).

  4. Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Is serial monogamy found in any other ape apart from Homo sapiens?

    • nicky
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The little owl (Athene noctua) has a specific form of serial monogamy: an elderly female has a younger male partner, when she dies, the now older male takes a younger female, when he dies the now older female, etc., sticking to the same nesting hole.

  5. Diane G.
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink


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