Are you engaged in the world's oldest profession?

Are you engaged in the world's oldest profession?

If you were asked, "are you engaged in the world's oldest profession?" what would your answer be? "No?"
If you seriously think about it, though, what you are rejecting surely qualifies as a profession, if we agree that groups take on the title of profession by virtue of their professed expertise in a particular endeavour. I'm sure that this expertise that this profession claims requires much knowledge and skills, albeit a very specific set of esoteric knowledge and skills, to effectively achieve the objectives of that job.

The division of work in societies

If you have just a tiny bit of interest in history and the development of society (civilization?), you will remember that way back in the history of the world, our ancestors in order to survive the harshness of the environment in which they found themselves divided labour among the sexes.
The males, by virtue of their perceived strength, their dexterity with a bow and arrow among the other virtues that they ascribed to themselves, took on the very important and challenging job of hunting game, while to their women - an extension of themselves - they gave the relatively easy task of gathering edible plants. This is the mode through which they charted their survival at the time.
As society has evolved, human beings have developed new modes through which they have continued to ensure their survival - through agriculture, pastoralism, industrialization, as well as what exists today.
But through all these modes of survival that human beings have instituted, the men have chosen the leading roles for themselves. They, for the most part, have been the "hunters", a role that they have taken on to themselves by virtue of their perceived expertise in managing challenging pursuits.
This arrangement has been persisting for many years in many societies today.
It is reflected in many of the social arrangements that proliferate societies - family relationships, work relationships, in other organisational arrangements - where men occupy many of the top positions.
Meanwhile, many women who want to show that they are more than gatherers and can contribute in other significant ways to their survival and to the survival of their families have to contend with the "glass ceiling", a point up the organisational ladder where they seem to be stuck, and where their only chance of being released seems to be by the chivalry of altruistic males.
However, some women through the liberation movements, feminists both females and males, have lobbied relentlessly over the years for a restriction of the grip of the males on women's aspirations to contribute in significant ways to their own survival. And, they have reaped much success in many societies in this respect.
Today, the line between the gender roles in many societies has become blurred or has been fused. Many of us have become both hunters and gatherers to ensure that we survive our turbulent environments - social, political, economic, physical, technological - all the environments that we have to navigate in our quest for survival.
This is evident in the battles being fought between and among men and women in the job markets for the few available pickings.
We have all been involved in the world's oldest profession from we entered the world.

What is the world's oldest profession?

This oldest profession to which I am referring is survival.
  • Survival for all of us requires some knowledge in the areas in which we decide to chart our path to our survival or in the areas in which we have been forced to chart our path to our survival.
  • Survival requires that we have some special skills in the areas that we have chosen or have been forced to make a living to ensure that we achieve our objective - survival.
  • Survival is collaborative. It requires that we interact with others even though we do not like a bone in their bodies, because without our cooperation we will be jeopardizing our chances at our own survival.


Survival is our profession. It is the area in which we have displayed expertise throughout the ages and the area in which many of us will continue to display expertise.
Survival has been the world's oldest profession. Just ask those who are members of the group to which we have given this title.

What do you think?

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About the Author

Janette B. Fuller is a ghost writer and author of four books. 

When you are ready to write your story and/or after you have written your story, make contact with her at She'll help you write your best story by helping you arrange your thoughts and/or edit your work. Check out her books here


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