Top critical review
Good until you get to the antifeminism and child torture portions
May 22, 2019
Usually I can just skip parts of a book I don't like. But after all the parts that I enjoyed, about how we need to spend more time in nature interacting with it, and what the skills are that promote such connection... there's this other section that explains the gender pay gap as being due to atuomation (dishwashers, etc), disregarding that when women did those things manually, it wasn't more valued either, so more work doesn't equal more value. Just ask any vegetable pickers in the US. Then he says women shouldn't aspire to political office because politics is competitive and nobody should engage in competition. Such pursuits are furthermore, attention seeking and that's an adolescent ego habit, which is best to grow out of.
While I agree that politicians are often adolescent, I doubt if you can claim that there was no competitive anything in tribal society, or that separate but equal work constitutes egalitarianism. Some of the evidence he uses to support his statements is bizarre like how many people share kinship with a child in a tribe... somehow this is a measure of egalitarianism. It feels like this part of the book is overworked an overextended.
But I stopped reading at the child torture bit. Supposedly we're missing out on "ceremony" and his next two examples are of a tribe that forces adolescents to become "men" by stinging them with insects, and another that drugs them and locks them in a room while they rave.
Both my wife and I have participated in Wiccan ceremonies and at no time was child torture required. Most of our Wiccan friends have very well adjusted children and no stinging bugs or psychoactive drugs were required to achieve that. He's giving cover to psychopathic women who believe FGM is a rite of passage, by implication. I didn't see it actually mentioned, but I'll have nothing to do with such nonsense.
I got through 3/4 of the book. It was enough. I'm scared even to give it to the library as a giveaway.
I'm really interested in the subject of edible wild plants and survival techniques, but not at the price of human cruelty. I am honestly repulsed that a person would suggest such things are healthy.