“This is a man’s world,” is a song by James Brown that probably just got stuck in your head for the rest of the day. It is the intro that Jennifer Hudson awkwardly sung to Tina Fey when she got the Mark Twain prize for American Humor. It is also a popular cultural saying.
The phrase attempts to celebrate women but comes off more as putting them in their place. It is also full of lies.
This is not a man’s world: it’s an ants.
Bare with me.
The Earth is home to many creatures and plant life. The weight of these things is calculated as biomass and in the large scheme of things, 7 billion human beings don’t weigh a lot.
The total biomass of all humans on Earth is equal to the total biomass of all species of ants. This means that for every human alive on Earth there are roughly 1.5 million ants crawling in and around their stuff.
Other creatures that outweigh us: termites, squid and krill.
I’ve never seen a termite in person and I don’t live in a body of water, so what concerns me the most are the ants.
Now I’m not suggesting that there is not an unwanted hierarchy based on race, gender and class in human society (there is). All I’m saying is that regardless of who is on top of human pyramid we are all just living in an ant’s world.