Over the last few months I have come across a remarkable report:
The macaque lady Yakei has given her colony in a southern Japanese reserve a good shake-up and has boxed her way to the top of 677 monkeys. This has never happened before and scientists are faced with a mystery.
In macaques, it is usually the males who fight for power. Yakei, however, ignored the fact that the ladies have no say here. She took the unusual career leap by first knocking out her mother and then beating up the highest-ranking male leader. He then gave up his chief post … the end of the road for Sanchu.
The scientists couldn’t believe their eyes and did a relevant test: they laid out peanuts for the macaques and lo and behold … Sanchu let Yakei go first. The 9-year-old Yakei has been the queen of the colony ever since.
The story amused me, but also impressed me. How does one’s will to overcome fixed structures and defy them come about? So has Yakei developed something like career awareness in the midst of the unsuspecting macaque colony? Or ambition? Even a striving for power? And here’s another question for you. Would it be out of place to call Yakei a strong woman?
Either way …Yakei, you fearless lady, I am very impressed with you.
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