A. afarensis, as imagined at Archaeologyinfo.com
A recently discovered juvenile Australopithecine skeleton has been dug up, to which mouldy old fossil the New York Times warmfuzzily alludes as a “little girl.” The author goes on to refer to adult females of the species, who very likely swung from trees, as “women.”
A. afarensis, swings—if the reader will forgive this brief foray into the obvious—four or five branches back on the hominid phylogenetic tree. We’re not even in the same genus. Whether afarensis is a direct predecessor of even H. habilis or H. ergaster is debatable. Us modern gals have more in common with—dare I say it?—bonobos.
Blamers, of course, have long known that, though womanhood is contingent upon many things, human status ain’t one of’em.
Nothin against Australopithecae, but they’re, like, so 3 million years ago.