“Women aren’t good at poker,” she said.
She’s an educated, intelligent person, and knows me well enough to speak honestly (to the extent that a woman can speak honestly, I mean), so the statement is worth pondering. I haven’t seen many female poker players, but, then again, I avoid the game. For me, poker has been a form of donation: I put my money on the table and walk away after a little while with no need to put anything in my pocket.
But putting aside the bluff of a card game, I’m not sufficiently naive to believe that women do not understand the art of deception. In fact, my working theory is that they dominate the field. My hunch is that to the female mind, poker is for amateurs—women are pros.
That’s not intended as a disparaging remark. The explanation requires a peek at my theory of the evolution of our species.
Back on that primordial African savanna, our male ancestors chased down prey and pounded on each other in their efforts to survive. These activities required physical strength more than sophisticated reasoning. The male could survive on muscle cells even if he possessed only a frugal allotment of brain cells.
Women, on the other hand, found themselves less muscled and in need of masculine support to survive and procreate. That meant inducing the biggest, strongest knuckle-dragger available to do those things that worked to her and her progeny’s advantage. The ones who did so with greatest success procreated most often. We (and Charlie Darwin) are the result. (So far, anyway; note that evolution is a process, not a destination.)
So, the astute human male is appropriately leery of his female tribespeople. Those women are often attractive, amusing and interesting, but one should always be alert when dealing with someone who is known to be craftier than oneself.
OK, I fold…