Patriarchy isn’t the natural state of humanity. On an evolutionary timescale, patriarchy is an idea we came up with last Thursday, tried out over the weekend, and decided to give up on when we woke up Monday morning with a hangover and an armpit rash.

5 thoughts on “Unnatural

  1. Women have been demonized throughout history because Adam chose Eve over God, and God was jealous. (That would be the paternalistic, male, jealous, monotheist of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions.) That doesn’t explain the male dominance of other cultures. I guess Native Americans were matriarchal.

    • Patriarchal societies often invoke religion to justify the repression of women, and not just the Abrahamic faiths. Wherever you find agriculture, you’ll usually find patriarchy.

      • Interesting. Is there a logical link with agriculture? Seems that in hunter-gatherer societies, it’s usually the women doing the agriculture.

      • The short version of the current theory goes like this: hunter-gatherer and pastoral societies tend to share resources freely with one another: no one owns the wilderness and it’s hard to keep animals separate in a big herd. But agriculture requires a significant investment of labor to till, plant, and harvest an defined plot of land, which creates new incentives for men to make sure they’re not feeding someone else’s kids. That means asserting control over women’s lives in ways that hunter-gatherer and pastoral men had no reason to do.

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