Lego sets have a deplorable lack of female mini-figures.
Here, here! There can never be enough women, in the real world or the Lego world.
Having said that...
I admit, I tend to think of the minifigs as male, but that's because they're always doing "male" things: fighting, exploring deep space, running dangerous machines, etc... That's why even in the modern era where technology has made many gender traits largely irrelevant, we still have mostly male armies, etc. So in a setting like Space or Castle where you have a lot of fighting or just plain dangerous stuff being done, most of your mini figs will tend to be male.
That's a fair point when it comes to many themes... if you have a pirate ship or a militaristic medieval Castle set, it'd be unrealistic to have a lot of females. Obviously there were
females around at the time, but since Lego isn't putting out markets and homes and other such things, we don't see 'em.
Think about it for a second. Who's more valuable to society? It ain't the boys.
I agree. Though for different reasons.
How many men do you actually need? Two males and six females, you're good to go from a purely reproductive standpoint.
Well, I'm not a biology major, but I think you need a larger gene pool than that at this point. As evolution occurs naturally, it's not like a new species just pops into place in a generation, with that new species unable to reproduce with members of other species. The evolutionary change from one species to another takes place very slowly, over many, many generations. When specific creatures can be defined as a seperate species, the naturally selected mutations that makes the new species what it is are in a suitably large population base. That's why scientists often speak of the changes within populations, rather than focusing solely on mutations within individuals.
Take the opposite of that situation, and you've got a problem. Of course in the real world people aren't so crass and uncaring... I hope... but even then, once a male has passed his genetic material on and created offspring, his contribution to the gene pool has been made and he's even more expendable than he was before from a biological standpoint.
He's certainly not expendable from an evolutionary point of view. First, most species require a male to create more than one child for the species to survive, especially if early death is a common problem (death before birth, sickness in childhood, etc.). Second, you yourself called "fighting" a "'male' thing". Certainly females can defend themselves (and as you point out, for some species the female is actually dominant). However, men usually fill the protection role. For almost all species (including ours), reproduction is about more than just doing the horizontal polka. It's also about protecting the offspring, and providing the best context in which they
can reproduce when their time comes. The more men that are killed off, the more women will have to learn to fill the role of protector/defender.
It's just nature. Look at the number of species in which the male is just a puny little thing whose only further purpose in life is to be eaten by his mate the very second he passes on his genetic code.
Though there are probably more, I'm only aware of one (a spider). But regardless of how much of this goes on in nature, this doesn't really make a difference when it comes to humans.
Men are the way they are (bigger etc.) because cavewomen needed expendable protectors, workers, etc. and chose the males with the traits that made them better suited for such.
I would agree with that, to some extent. Certainly females will generally
choose male mates who are able to protect and help them. This is especially true if people are in constant danger because of things like predators. It is also true that people that were able to protect themselves and be more productive were the more likely to survive and pass on their genes.
That's why men are always sent to do dangerous things like fight wars and drive huge trucks; women are too valuable to waste. Even in 2007 we can't truly recreate what women have been doing since the beginning of recorded history. Only when technology gets to the point that viviparous births are pointless and unnecessary will this ever change. It's not about inherent competency or ability, since realistically that's probably a wash in many areas of interest. It's about biology, and one gender is more expendable than the other.
Aww, we guys aren't too valuable to waste? Darn! You have such a lovely view of people.
Out of curiosity, if we ever get to the point where women do not need to give birth, will women become expendable as well?