Thoughts on Eve: How The Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution.

Cat Bohannon was a life-drawing model. She seemed to enjoy it. It was money and she used it not just to be observed unclothed, but to observe those who were drawing her. I could write about her commentary and inquire further about the distinctions between how men drew her versus women, particularly about her breasts, but that is for another time.

Here I wish to say simply that Eve is an excellent book that reframes everything we are and do.

I will not spoil the amazing journey that this book is, but I will say that as it pertains to girls, I was grateful she included them/us. Of course, girls are there, because they are everything about perpetuating the human species. From Girl Museum’s perspective, there is much to dig into, inspired by Bohannan’s work and impressive storytelling. The section on Girlhood (pages 286-294) is not long but it is impactful. She defines girlhood as “childhood brain development as a female-identified person in a sexist society and the accumulated, influential remembered experiences associated with those years.” This is so important to understand that those experiences are what makes us alongside the biology of our brains. We do not escape those as adults, we just deal with them, everyone differently. She writes about how starving girls, which most cultures do, does not prepare them to bear the next generation. That girls’ bodies are not made to have babies, and neither are their minds. On child marriage and early pregnancy, she states, “this isn’t sustainable on an evolutionary scale: no behavioral group that deliberately injures young females would be able to survive and thrive in the long run.” I wish that there was a pipeline from this book to policies and laws about child brides and protecting girls from forced reproduction.

Her writing is clear, engaging, and humorous. You are never in doubt of her positionality, what she is including and not, what she means and does not. This book made me feel seen and so thrilled that it exists! Don’t skip the footnotes, which are as important as the main text.

I have not recommended a book with my whole body and mind in recent memory. Eve should be in every book reading home, every community, high school and college library, every prison, and every doctor’s office.

As females, we need to embrace our deep, evolutionary history and and power to guide us going forward.

Ashley E. Remer
-Head Girl

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