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A Radical Feminist Examination of Evolutionary Psychology

10th June 2016 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm

In person | Virtual event

 A Radical Feminist Examination of Evolutionary Psychology


Ever since the publication of Darwin’s “Origin of Species”, people have found answers for complex social phenomena in the mechanisms of natural selection. Poverty, criminality, the inferior status of women and of people of colour were all subjected to elaborate stories that told of how some groups of people (though never wealthy, educated European white men) were destined by nature itself to occupy a subordinate role in society. This evolutionary determinism has had many disastrous political consequences, from the forced sterilisation of women with learning difficulties, to immigration policies restricting entry for the “inferior races”, and most notoriously as one, although by no means the only, pillar in Hitler’s conception of the Master Race.

One form of this “Darwinian determinism” however still enjoys a respectable position among academics and the public, and its supporters – Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins and others – are considered liberal champions of science, not reactionary social determinists. This field is evolutionary psychology – a relative newcomer to the melting pot of Darwinian social theories which in a remarkably short period of time has managed to embed its assumptions and explanations so deeply into our shared understanding of the world as to become naturalised as “common sense”. We now look to Darwinian mechanisms when trying to explain gender inequality, male violence, or even why children seem to ‘prefer’ toys of certain colours to others.

In this talk Marina Strinkovsky will look at what Evolutionary Psychology is, how it influences our interpretation of the social reality around us, and why this influence might be misleading and even harmful.

Marina Strinkovsky is a feminist writer and campaigner who blogs at It’s Not a Zero Sum Game. Her main interests revolve around male violence against women, reproductive justice, sexual exploitation, rape and harassment. Marina has written for the New Statesman and Indy Voices among others. She lives in Swindon with her one surviving cactus and, remarkably, no cats.

The talk will be held in the Brockway Room at Conway Hall.

Doors open 7pm

Event 7.30- 9pm

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