will asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

how important was patriarchy to everyday life from 1500-1750?

what were the extents of its existence in society and how contentious was it?

2 Answers

  • Thomas
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Patriarchy"is a faux-pas word created by feminists. Patriarchy never existed and does not exist. The sudden notion of women's liberation activists, that life and carrier planning according to the traditional male's way of life is the only way to freedom and happiness and the definition of traditional women's roles to be inferior and worthless makes men being accused of something that never happened. A part of the concept is "patriarchy".

    From Roy F. Baumeister's speech given at the opening of the 2007 meeting of the American Psychological Association. Title: "Is there anything good about men?"

    ..Gender inequality seems to have increased with early civilization, including agriculture. Why? The feminist explanation has been that the men banded together to create patriarchy. This is essentially a conspiracy theory, and there is little or no evidence that it is true. Some argue that the men erased it from the history books in order to safeguard their newly won power. Still, the lack of evidence should be worrisome, especially since this same kind of conspiracy would have had to happen over and over, in group after group, all over the world.

    Let me offer a different explanation. It’s not that the men pushed the women down. Rather, it’s just that the women’s sphere remained about where it was, while the men’s sphere, with its big and shallow social networks, slowly benefited from the progress of culture. By accumulating knowledge and improving the gains from division of labor, the men’s sphere gradually made progress.

    Hence religion, literature, art, science, technology, military action, trade and economic marketplaces, political organization, medicine — these all mainly emerged from the men’s sphere. The women’s sphere did not produce such things, though it did other valuable things, like take care of the next generation so the species would continue to exist.

    Why? It has nothing to do with men having better abilities or talents or anything like that. It comes mainly from the different kinds of social relationships. The women’s sphere consisted of women and therefore was organized on the basis of the kind of close, intimate, supportive one-on-one relationships that women favor. These are vital, satisfying relationships that contribute vitally to health and survival. Meanwhile the men favored the larger networks of shallower relationships. These are less satisfying and nurturing and so forth, but they do form a more fertile basis for the emergence of culture.

    Note that all those things I listed — literature, art, science, etc — are optional. Women were doing what was vital for the survival of the species. Without intimate care and nurturance, children won’t survive, and the group will die out. Women contributed the necessities of life. Men’s contributions were more optional, luxuries perhaps. But culture is a powerful engine of making life better. Across many generations, culture can create large amounts of wealth, knowledge, and power. Culture did this — but mainly in the men’s sphere.

    Thus, the reason for the emergence of gender inequality may have little to do with men pushing women down in some dubious patriarchal conspiracy. Rather, it came from the fact that wealth, knowledge, and power were created in the men’s sphere. This is what pushed the men’s sphere ahead. Not oppression.

  • 7 years ago

    In western society it was a fact. Women had no rights. In the UK when they married, all their property passed to their husband and became his property absolutely This did not change until the passing of various Married Women's Property Acts in the 19th century. Women, by and large, had no education outside the home.

    It was not contentious, it was accepted as the norm.

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