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Women's History

I am curious about the history of men's domination over women. How did it evolve?

What most of us know as "history" is "white/male/western centric" history - hence why many schools have had to create African-American, women's, and Native American history classes to fill in the gaps. So, to learn about the evolution of the "history of men's domination over women" involves doing more work than usual. It also involves knowing that when you go back thousands of years ago men's and women's roles were more equal - women and men were gods and goddesses, both were warriors and everyone was worshipped equally. And even though most of this equality is restricted to a time before now, there are today many examples of more equal cultures that aren't based on domination. I once heard about a community in India, as well as among tribes in Africa and Native American Tribes in this country, where men and women are equally responsible for child rearing, hunting & gathering, and "governing the house and the community."

It's also important to know that domination over women usually goes hand-in-hand with domination over any group challenging the current power base - i.e. non-white people. And all of this domination is usually the result of exactly that: "challenging the power base." So my guess is that men's domination over women came in vogue when men began questioning their roles in society - and it will stay in fashion until they realize that by equalizing the power base they too are gaining something.

I hope this helps.

P.S. Check our Gerda Lerner's book The Creation of Patriarchy.


Amy

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