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Why is patriarchy ubiquitous


rukawa
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Most liberals believe patriarchy is not natural. But if it isn't why nearly all societies patriarchies? LC has argued that there are matriarchies but the evidence is poor that they have ever existed. But lets say for the sake of argument there were some. You still have a situation where 99.999% of human beings ever born have lived under patriarchies and a exceedingly small set of societies is matriarchal...vastly less than 1%

 

This of course begs the question why patriarchy? To me the answer has to be sex-differences in behavior. I think the liberal explanation is that men oppressed women. But how? If women are equal to men you should expect that in some societies women gain the upper hand and in others its men. Its a pretty strange result where men always oppress women assuming the two sides are equal in capability.

 

Male brute strength is also a poor explanation. George Bush is certainly not the strongest man in America...neither is Obama. Power in human societies is based on social power not physical strength. I doubt most slave owners were stronger than the slaves they owned.

 

Also how did this oppression happen? For instance whites have a history of oppressing blacks but the way that happened is that whites were largely separated from blacks for long periods of time geographically and so their historical development was different. Whites developed superior tech and then used it to take over less advanced cultures. But the oppression required wars, a slave trade, organization...actual efforts and work.

 

But women and men have never been separated. When did the campaign or war of men against women begin. What were the battles. It appears men just somehow won without firing a single shot. HOw exactly did this happen?

 

I have heard it argued that societies became patriarchies due to agriculture. Here is an explanation of that:

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft0k40038c&chunk.id=d0e3814&toc.id=d0e3814&brand=ucpress

 

I personally find these explanations to be uniformly ridiculous. Somehow they just end up arguing that with agriculture came property, family, monogamy and patriarchy. But I could just as well argue that with agriculture came property, family, monogamy and matriarchy. Saying these things just somehow go together because of agriculture is not an explanation...its begging the question.

 

To me whatever is causing patriarchy has to be a remarkably powerful and enduring force in order to explain why its found nearly everywhere. And I would argue that force is most probably biological.

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Your arguments against brute strength being the explanation are poor in my view.  Both your arguments relate to fully developed societies where much more than strength determines outcomes.  (For example, plenty of slaves could beat up their masters and some did, but society had them shot for it, which deterred others.)  But patriarchy may go back to much simpler societies where brute strength was probably a key factor.  Man rules woman because man can punch woman when she's annoying.

 

One other thing I suspect has a bearing (although I am not sure exactly how) is that women can be sure who their offspring are but men can't.  A lot of social norms in many societies are designed to ensure that men know that they are the father of their child.  If women had the power, it would be much harder for men to know.  That's a powerful motivation for men to use brute strength to develop patriarchy.

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I believe it is well studied and discussed that certain aspects that led to patriarchy are/were present before the human species was completely formed.  There is evidence in other primates of males desiring to control the sexuality of females in some way.

 

Also, Women had to nurse the children.  That took them out of the traveling and hunting and conquering game as far as I understand it...

 

Now I will say this:  If there happen to be people on this new politics board that don't believe in evolution you should probably let us all know.

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I believe it is well studied and discussed that certain aspects that led to patriarchy are/were present before the human species was completely formed.  There is evidence in other primates of males desiring to control the sexuality of females in some way.

 

Also, Women had to nurse the children.  That took them out of the traveling and hunting and conquering game as far as I understand it...

 

Now I will say this:  If there happen to be people on this new politics board that don't believe in evolution you should probably let us all know.

 

This is what I think as well.  We evolved from patriarchal apes and we are basically still patriarchal apes.  The evidence of this is that chimpanzees (our closest relatives) are patriarchal as well.

 

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I believe it is well studied and discussed that certain aspects that led to patriarchy are/were present before the human species was completely formed.  There is evidence in other primates of males desiring to control the sexuality of females in some way.

 

Also, Women had to nurse the children.  That took them out of the traveling and hunting and conquering game as far as I understand it...

 

Now I will say this:  If there happen to be people on this new politics board that don't believe in evolution you should probably let us all know.

 

This is what I think as well.  We evolved from patriarchal apes and we are basically still patriarchal apes.  The evidence of this is that chimpanzees (our closest relatives) are patriarchal as well.

 

not all chimps...can't leave out those sex-loving bonobos!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo

 

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.[

 

Most studies indicate that females have a higher social status in bonobo society.[4] Aggressive encounters between males and females are rare, and males are tolerant of infants and juveniles. A male derives his status from the status of his mother.[39] The mother–son bond often stays strong and continues throughout life. While social hierarchies do exist, and although the son of a high ranking female may outrank a lower female, rank plays a less prominent role than in other primate societies.[40]

 

Because of the promiscuous mating behavior of female bonobos, a male cannot be sure which offspring are his. As a result, the entirety of parental care in bonobos is assumed by the mothers.[41]

 

Bonobo party size tends to vary because the groups exhibit a fission–fusion pattern. A community of approximately 100 will split into small groups during the day while looking for food, and then will come back together to sleep. They sleep in nests that they construct in trees.

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Claudia Goldin (Harvard, economist) has produced a lot of quality work on this topic.

Of course, she may be labelled as a "liberal".

 

Opinion: Patriarchy is essentially an inheritance of the past.

Though it may take a while to get parity (did not use the word equality) in this world where human capital is becoming more important.

After all, the birth control pill was introduced only in the 1960's.

 

If the CEO of an investment opportunity is a woman, does it change your appraisal?

If the BOD has several women, does it change your appraisal?

 

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I believe it is well studied and discussed that certain aspects that led to patriarchy are/were present before the human species was completely formed.  There is evidence in other primates of males desiring to control the sexuality of females in some way.

 

Also, Women had to nurse the children.  That took them out of the traveling and hunting and conquering game as far as I understand it...

 

Now I will say this:  If there happen to be people on this new politics board that don't believe in evolution you should probably let us all know.

 

This is what I think as well.  We evolved from patriarchal apes and we are basically still patriarchal apes.  The evidence of this is that chimpanzees (our closest relatives) are patriarchal as well.

 

not all chimps...can't leave out those sex-loving bonobos!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo

 

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.[

 

Most studies indicate that females have a higher social status in bonobo society.[4] Aggressive encounters between males and females are rare, and males are tolerant of infants and juveniles. A male derives his status from the status of his mother.[39] The mother–son bond often stays strong and continues throughout life. While social hierarchies do exist, and although the son of a high ranking female may outrank a lower female, rank plays a less prominent role than in other primate societies.[40]

 

Because of the promiscuous mating behavior of female bonobos, a male cannot be sure which offspring are his. As a result, the entirety of parental care in bonobos is assumed by the mothers.[41]

 

Bonobo party size tends to vary because the groups exhibit a fission–fusion pattern. A community of approximately 100 will split into small groups during the day while looking for food, and then will come back together to sleep. They sleep in nests that they construct in trees.

 

 

Yes bonobos are awesome.  Humans, chimps, and bonobos split off from their common ancestors millions of years ago and evolved in different directions.  Obviously humans aren't quite as physically aggressive as chimps, we are somewhere in the middle between chimps and bonobos.

 

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Most liberals believe patriarchy is not natural. But if it isn't why nearly all societies patriarchies? LC has argued that there are matriarchies but the evidence is poor that they have ever existed.

 

Cmon dude..."most" liberals? I mean, talk about painting with broad strokes.

 

And I think your statement is unclear regardless - "not natural"...what does that mean? Historically most common? I don't think anyone can argue the majority of societies thru history were in some sense patriarchal, at least on the surface. But then why are women's rights increasing in the developed world? Would that imply a more matriarchal society is more "natural" in advanced societies?

 

I mean, it's one of those questions to me that is difficult to even scope, partly because the facts are somewhat unclear - for example if you have a Macbeth situation where a woman is pulling the strings from behind the scenes, what does that count as?

 

I'm no evolutionary biologist. My armchair guess is (if you assume the premise) probably something along the lines of what globalfinancepartners and others have mentioned (sexual control/domination via brute strength). Chris Hitchens used to say the fastest way to improve a society was to give its woman control over their own sexuality.

 

I think the underlying question here is what are the implications? Is a patriarchy the "best" way to run a society, simply because that is how it evolved, or was most evident in the past? If so, does recent progress of women's sexual, political, etc. independence indicate that a patriarchy may no longer be the "best" (or most evolutionary advantaged) way?

 

So we can talk about why patriarchies have existed in the vast majority of historical cases, but I think the real question is what should we do going forward, and why.

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This is one of those questions to me that is so difficult to argue, partly because the facts are somewhat unclear - for example if you have a Macbeth situation where a woman is pulling the strings from behind the scenes, what does that count as?

 

I'm no evolutionary biologist. My armchair guess is (if you assume the premise) probably something along the lines of what globalfinancepartners mentioned.

 

Of course the underlying question here is what are the implications of this. Is this the "best" way to run a society, simply because that is how it evolved? If so, does recent progress of women's sexual, political, etc. independence indicate that a patriarchy may no longer be the "best" (or most evolutionary advantaged) way?

 

So we can talk about why patriarchies have existed in the vast majority of historical cases, but the real question is what should we do going forward, and why.

 

+1.  Can we use our brains to make conscious decisions to override our instincts?  That is the question.... on this and in many other areas of life/society as well.

 

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Your arguments against brute strength being the explanation are poor in my view.  Both your arguments relate to fully developed societies where much more than strength determines outcomes.  (For example, plenty of slaves could beat up their masters and some did, but society had them shot for it, which deterred others.)  But patriarchy may go back to much simpler societies where brute strength was probably a key factor.  Man rules woman because man can punch woman when she's annoying.

 

This doesn't imply men ruling women. It implies stronger people ruling weaker people. For instance if a person is old and annoying you can also punch them in the face. Therefore the young (20-30 year olds) should rule the old. Yet we don't observe this ever in human history. In almost all societies leaders are not in their physical prime.

 

And what of India where scrawny priests ruled over the warrior caste. Make a list of leaders throughout history...very few of them where physically strong and for even the ones that were (e.g. Alexander the Great) its pretty clear that strength was NOT the deciding factor in their rise to leadership. Alexander the Great did not physically wrestle with every man in Greece to gain power.

 

Humans are a social species and to be a leader you must have social power...not physical power. The strongest man in Rome could probably beat up Julius Caesar but Caesar didn't need to be strong himself...he had an army. Julius Caesar gained power by using his social connections, being generous with his troups, political maneuvering and savvy and winning battles. This required time, energy, ambition and intelligence. The time factor is why leaders are often old. But it did not require brute strength. Even in very primitive societies like the Native American ones...most leaders were not physically strong...they were old men.

 

So I regard the brute strength argument as a ridiculous one.

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Ever try to have your wive and daughters plow the fields without the help of petro based farm equipment?

 

Ever hear of Africa or the Native Americans? In Africa there are many societies where women work the fields. Among Native Americans, there was a time when white people tried to get Native Indian men to farm and the Native males basically they said something like: "BUT THAT IS WOMEN's WORK!!"

 

There are many societies where farming is actually considered women's work. So I don't have to guess, I know as a cold hard historical fact that women ONLY can farm without petro based farm equipment.

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  • 2 months later...

We Picts were a matriarchy for good reasons. Society was led by Priestesses whose power was similar to the Druids in that they had the power of banishment. Their main responsibility was to pick the leader and remove him and if the leader violated natural law severely, the woman ceased to be a head priestess. The priestess came in sets of three like the Irish and Frisians. These priestesses reputably had powers much like Jedi mind control and it is reputed they could put a man to sleep with a touch of the finger. Women conferred "Shakti" to men which was partly wisdom and partly enhanced spiritual energies. You do not get these types of energies if you drink alcohol or fail to conserve your sexual energies at the right times and use it to build spiritual energies which are related to energized cerebral spinal fluid which depends mostly on drinking good water like you find in mountain springs and your sexual practices. In Egypt, men with "Shakti" was symbolized by the snake coming from the forehead and if you did not have Shakti you were not considered worthy. In regards to conserving sexual energies I imagine it was like in Dune by Frank Herbert where the Fremen were free because the women would not have sex with them unless they learnt to have intercourse without ejaculation. Presumably it did not take long to learn given this motivation. Perhaps the practice builds both their energies like the Daoists suggest. They almost certainly had "Bock" practices like described in the Bock Saga as they came from the same kin as the Finns and Laplanders and Estonians and likely children were carefully planned and produced to maximize their spiritual energies with practices as described in the book Masterplan about the Bock Saga with conception timed to be on Summer solistice. The soul was considered to be immortal and to reincarnate and the quality improved by living by natural laws. These practices were encouraged as this produced superior progeny and is why the Romans could never defeat the Picts. The Romans used to joke about the highborn Pictish practice of allowing their women to sleep with other Pictish high born. (Which practice makes sense only if the practice was like in Dune where the sex was for the purposes of spiritual advancement, not procreation and since all the children were born nine months after the summer solistice the shame of having a child at the wrong time would be avoided.) The Pictish response was reputed to be that it was better that they sleep with a nobleman then to have nobleman sleep with the slaves like the Romans. The Picts believed that the spiritual ties of those you have sex with endure and that you exchange spiritual energies so if any of your past partners suffer, you suffer and you would never sleep with a degenerated person as that would cause a spiritual drain which drain would endure so long as the degenerate suffers. Picts were a tribal society so there originally was no marriage and instead the women moved in with the man and left without shame if they so desired. 

 

The Pictish Matriarchy worked and was a more stable and successful society until it was corrupted by Dionysius and betrayed by the Celts who were tricked then enslaved by the English and the Papacy. History would be far different if the Celts had accepted the Pictish offer of peace and mutual protection against the English and the Papacy and had the Celts not tried to carry out the genocide sought by Romans and then the Papacy. The Picts had also degenerated as according to their myths they came from the North Pole which was paradise where the Picts reached their greatest achievements. I believe the North Pole used to be located in the far north of Canada based on the compass made from the Alais alignments and I wonder if that was where the myths of the inner world came from. After a long search I only found a single academic reference to the thousands of stone tablets left behind by the Picts or their ancestors in North America. I can think of few advanced tribes whose history has been so carefully hidden by the Romans, the English and the Papacy. Had the wisdom been shared history would be entirely different as we would more usually enjoy spiritual advancement each generation instead of the degeneration and moral decay which too often we see.

 

 

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