Read e-book online The Creation of Patriarchy PDF

By Gerda Lerner

ISBN-10: 0195051858

ISBN-13: 9780195051858

A big new paintings through a number one historian and pioneer in women's reviews, The construction of Patriarchy is an intensive reconceptualization of Western civilization that makes gender vital to its research. Gerda Lerner argues that male dominance over ladies isn't really "natural" or organic, however the manufactured from an historic improvement began within the moment millennium B.C. within the historic close to East. As patriarchy as a procedure of organizing society was once proven traditionally, she contends, it will probably even be ended by way of the old process.

Focusing at the contradiction among women's relevant position in developing society and their marginality within the meaning-giving strategy of definition and interpretation, Lerner explores such interesting questions as: What can account for women's exclusion from the historic strategy? What may clarify the lengthy delay--more than 3,500 years--in women's coming to awareness in their personal subordinate place? She is going again to the cultures of the earliest identified civilizations--those of the traditional close to East--to become aware of the origins of the most important gender metaphors of Western civilization. utilizing ancient, literary, archaeological, and creative proof, she then lines the improvement of those rules, symbols, and metaphors and their incorporation into Western civilization because the foundation of patriarchal gender kin.

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This consciousness can also liberate men from the unwanted and undesired consequences of the system of male dominance. Approaching this quest as historians, we must abandon single­ factor explanations. W e must assume that if and when events occur simultaneously their relationship to each other is not necessarily causal. We must assume that changes as complex as a basic altera­ tion in kinship structures most likely occurred as the result of a variety of interacting forces. W e must test whatever hypothesis we 38 The C reation o f Patriarchy have developed for one model comparatively and cross-culturally.

The skills deriving from their hunting experience in turn equip them to be­ come warriors. 3 Finally, this biological deterministic explanation is extended from the Stone Age into the present by the assertion that the sexual division of labor based on man's natural "superiority" is a given and therefore as valid today as it was in the primitive beginnings of human soci­ ety. This theory, in various forms, is currently by far the most pop­ ular version of the traditionalist argument and has had a powerful explanatory and reinforcing effect on contemporary ideas of male supremacy.

8 Traditionalist defenses of male supremacy based on biologicaldeterministic reasoning have changed over time and proven remark­ ably adaptive and resilient. " Darwinian theories reinforced beliefs that species survival was more important than individual self-fulfillment. Much as the Social Gospel used the Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest to justify the unequal distribution of wealth and privilege in American society, scientific defenders of patriarchy justified the definition of women through their maternal role and their exclusion from economic and educa­ tional opportunities as serving the best interests of species survival.

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The Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner

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