Why do men compete with each other? Whether they realize it or not, their motive is access to women. The real power is exercised by women behind the scenes – the men do the work on stage. The man at the top usually is the leader of the tribe. He is assisted by lower ranking men, who in their turn have underlings and so on.
Gender & power: competition
The origin of this hierarchy is found in the competition to fertilize women. It goes back, about a million years ago, to the origin of sexual reproduction and the differentiation of the sexes.
Sexual reproduction starts out with a great number of sperm cells that try to permeate one big, slow, nutritious egg cell. The situation can be compared to iron particles and a magnet, functioning as complements in a state of mutual attraction. There are many more sperm cells than egg cells, which leads to competition. Once a sperm cell has entered the egg cell it has won the competition.
In the course of evolution numerous varieties of species developed, but the continuation of their existence is still dependent of this urge of the sperm cell to be united with the egg cell. Biologically, an organism is nothing but a package containing reproductive cells which have adjusted themselves to their environment by creating the organism.
Gender & power: social hierarchy
Humans are the most complex and intelligent species on the planet, but the foundation of our existence is still the sexual system. Every man, strives for power, wants to be stronger, faster, smarter, more significant, wiser, more attractive than other men. Among higher animals the top male has access to many, sometimes all, women. Up to a certain age, men strive for the highest goal. It is as if his genes tell him that only one individual can permeate the egg cell, that it has to be him and that he will die if it isn’t.
In the real human world it is, of course, more complicated. Men don’t die if they don’t reach the highest position. They only get slightly unhappy about themselves and the world. They settle for a lower place in the hierarchy but they still have to compete, because at that level there is the same struggle to get access to women. If a man does not attain the highest position, he can still lord it over other men. In this way a social hierarchy is formed. At the lower end of the scale are the men that have no access to women because they have lost the competition with all other men in every way. They can feel rather bad about themselves at times.