Jeffrey Epstein Was Just Doing What Men Do… In a World That Ended 100 Years Ago

If you’re rich and famous you’ve probably known about Jeffrey Epstein for a long time. The rest of us have only recently learned about him from the barrage of news stories with headlines like these:

  • How Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Became a Political Football—CNN News
  • Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Jennifer Araoz Sues Ghislaine—NBC News
  • Jeffrey Epstein’s Death and Role in “Ponzi Scheme” Investigated—CBS News
  • Conspiracy Theories Swamp Jeffrey Epstein Case From Fringe to Mainstream—Fox News
  • The Day Jeffrey Epstein Said He Had Dirt on Powerful People—New York Times
  • Sasse Demands Barr “Rip Up” 2008 Epstein Deal, Bring Co-Conspirators to Justice—New York Post

I’m more interested in what Jeffrey Epstein’s life and death can tell us about men, women, sex, and power, topics I’ve been studying and writing about for fifty years. I also want to know how it can help men and women live fuller, more successful, and joyful lives. 

From the point of view of an evolutionary psychologist, Jeffrey Epstein was just doing what men have been doing for the last two million years—Trying to have sex with as many young, beautiful women as he could and accumulating enough fame and wealth to attract more young, beautiful women. To do that he had to have a lot of other people, both male and female, who shared his values and beliefs.

In his book Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide, Dr. Hector A. Garcia, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center, describes “how evolution programmed our minds with mating strategies to help us reproduce amid a fierce field of competition, how men and women employ different strategies to achieve reproductive fitness.”

I’ve written about these issues in a series of articles on The Good Men Manifesto. The most recent article “The One Fact About Men That Drives Men’s Anger and Fear of Women” had a number of facts that can help us learn from Jeffrey Epstein’s life and death. In the article, I quote Roy F. Baumeister, one of the world’s leading social scientists. He has written more than 400 scientific papers and 21 books. In his book, Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish By Exploiting Men, he says, “Of all the people who ever reached adulthood, maybe 80% of the women but only 40% of the men reproduced.” He goes on to say, “That’s a stunning difference. Of all humans ever born, most women became mothers, but most men did not become fathers. You wouldn’t realize this by walking through an American suburb today with its tidy couples.” Baumeister says, “I consider it the single most underappreciated fact about men.”

What are the implications of this one fact? It means that throughout human history men, like Genghis Khan, the fearsome Mongol warrior of the 13th century, became rich and famous and had more than his share of young women and had lots of babies as a result. These practices continue to this day.

The problem for people like Jeffrey Epstein and other “elite friends and associates” in Epstein’s little black book, which includes Prince Andrew, Steve Bannon, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Alan Dershowitz, Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, David Koch, Ghislaine Maxwell, Charlie Rose, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and many others; the era of powerful men and women who ignore sexual violence as simply “men doing what men do” is over.

In fact, it ended a hundred years ago when thousands of women, with support of hundreds of men, fought for and passed the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. It has continued with the #MeToo movement which has broken the silence of sexual abuse forever. 

According to an article in Time magazine, “The #MeToo movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, searched for on Google in 196 countries in the past year.” Time named The Silence Breakers as the 2017 Person of the Year, honoring not one individual, but all of the women involved – and the cause as a whole.

I recently witnessed the clash of the old and new worlds on an episode of the Netflix series Outlanders, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. In season 1, former World War II nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank are visiting Inverness, Scotland, when she is carried back in time to the 18th century from the standing stones at Craigh na Dun. She falls in with a group of rebel Scottish Highlanders from Clan MacKenzie, who are being pursued by English redcoats led by Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. She marries a Highlander, Jamie Fraser, out of necessity, but they quickly fall in love.

In episode 6, titled The Reckoning, the old world where men were dominant and controlled their women, clashes with the new world of gender equality and what Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade, calls the clash between a Dominator system and Partnership System. 

Jamie has told his new wife, Clare, to wait with another clansman while he takes care of some business. He explained that danger was everywhere and she should stay just where she was until he returned. She disobeys his orders, and is captured by Black Jack, taken back to the castle and is about to be raped when Jamie and his men sneak into the castle and rescue her. 

He plans to punish Clare for disobeying his orders and putting them all in danger. “None of this would have happened if you’d have just stayed where I told you,” he says. Clare realizes her error had put everyone in danger and apologizes. But that’s not enough for him and he demands that she take her punishment, a belt whipping on her bare bottom. She refuses and, being stronger, he forces the whipping, and assumes things will now be fine between them. He has asserted his male authority and she has been properly punished. 

But he realizes he has damaged the relationship and has a change of heart. “This is how my father did things, and his father before him, and on back through the generations,” Jamie says, “But I love you Clare and I see things will have to be different between you and me.” He swears on his sword, his God, and his life that if he ever should strike her again that he would die by this very sword. Clare is moved and there is a touching love scene.

Yet, that’s not the end of the story. The next time they make love, with him on top of her and both in ecstatic sexual excitement, she rolls him over on his back, pulls out her own knife and puts it to his throat and drawing on the power of a modern-day woman looks down into his fearful eyes and says, “Jamie Fraser, if you ever raise your hand against me again, I will cut your heart out.” There’s no doubt that she means it. When women have real power, men learn to change for the better.

What we’re seeing in Jeffrey Epstein saga, is the last gasp of the Dominator culture. A small group of men and women benefitted from the old culture represented by Epstein. A much larger group of men and women will benefit as the Dominator culture gives way to the Partnership culture where we can all bring into being, in the words of my colleague Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.

This article first appeared on Jed’s blog.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top