The longer I went on reading his own books about himself, the more I longed to find a volume that would begin: ‘When the first ancestor of the human race descended from the trees, she had not yet developed the mighty brain that was to distinguish her so sharply from all other species…'
Of course, she was no more the first ancestor than he was — but she was no less the first ancestor, either. She was there all along, contributing half the genes to each succeeding generation. Most of the books forget about her for most of the time. They drag her onstage rather suddenly for the obligatory chapter on Sex and Reproduction, and then say: ‘All right, love, you can go now,’ while they get on with the real meaty stuff about the Mighty Hunter with his lovely new weapons and his lovely new straight legs racing across the Pleistocene plains. Any modifications in her morphology are taken to be imitations of the Hunter’s evolution, or else designed solely for his delectation.
Elaine Morgan, The Descent of Woman, 1972