You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn’t give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he’s ever touched. Son of the same, father of more. It is a curious scientific fact (explained in evolutionary biology by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis — Willard, notice) that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male. Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
There’s no link to this piece. [UPDATE: Thanks, readers; there’s now a link.] I got it from Alisha De Freitas’s blog. She is not impressed by the attempt at humor. Based on the segments she published, she has a point, though I’m not offended by it, as she was. Maybe it’s a male thing, I dunno.
Nevertheless, from a sociological/evolutionary perspective, it’s interesting to contemplate Williamson’s point, however much his humor may miss the mark. Romney does have most of the status markers that traditional societies look for in a chieftain. Yet they do him no good in our culture. To what extent is it because our culture is modern, and to what extent is it because he’s Mitt Romney? I’d say it’s about 90/10.