Bonobos: Los simios olvidados.

The bonobo is a female-centred, egalitarian primate species, of which only a few thousand survive, virtually inaccessible to humans, in the remote forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aggressive Behaviour, the Official Journal of the International Society for Research on Aggression, introduces a review of Frans de Waal’s Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape somewhat apologetically: ‘Although most of this journal is devoted to papers on aggressive behaviour and violence, it is worth remembering that its mandate also includes the study of peaceable alternatives.’ A ‘tragic and optimistic species’, the bonobo exceptionally uses sex to resolve clashes of power rather than the other way round. ‘As these intelligent creatures gaze from the photographs,’ the reviewer writes, ‘it is virtually impossible to avoid responses of anthropomorphic delight.’ Natalie Angier shares this delight and in Woman: An Intimate Geography offers the bonobo, if not quite as a role model for women, at least as an alternative primate lineage, another history we can wrench from biology in order to build a better future world. ‘Our lineage,’ she says, citing Bonobo, ‘is more flexible than we thought.’

Bonobos: Los simios olvidados.

The bonobo is a female-centred, egalitarian primate species, of which only a few thousand survive, virtually inaccessible to humans, in the remote forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aggressive Behaviour, the Official Journal of the International Society for Research on Aggression, introduces a review of Frans de Waal’s Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape somewhat apologetically: ‘Although most of this journal is devoted to papers on aggressive behaviour and violence, it is worth remembering that its mandate also includes the study of peaceable alternatives.’ A ‘tragic and optimistic species’, the bonobo exceptionally uses sex to resolve clashes of power rather than the other way round. ‘As these intelligent creatures gaze from the photographs,’ the reviewer writes, ‘it is virtually impossible to avoid responses of anthropomorphic delight.’ Natalie Angier shares this delight and in Woman: An Intimate Geography offers the bonobo, if not quite as a role model for women, at least as an alternative primate lineage, another history we can wrench from biology in order to build a better future world. ‘Our lineage,’ she says, citing Bonobo, ‘is more flexible than we thought.’

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