Author Topic: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous  (Read 2117 times)

rukawa

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Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« on: August 20, 2017, 11:05:00 PM »
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.


BG2008

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 01:03:14 AM »
Ever try to have your wive and daughters plow the fields without the help of petro based farm equipment? 


petec

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 01:17:07 AM »
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.

globalfinancepartners

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 05:02:43 AM »
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.

vikx01

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 05:41:21 AM »
Economist had an article on this a while ago.
http://www.economist.com/node/18986073


I skimmed through the paper cited as well and it had seemed convincing at that time.

rkbabang

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 05:43:25 AM »
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.
 

thepupil

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 05:46:24 AM »
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

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

Quote
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.

Cigarbutt

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 05:59:03 AM »
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?

rkbabang

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 06:17:40 AM »
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

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

Quote
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.

LC

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Re: Why is patriarchy ubiquitous
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 08:01:11 AM »
Quote
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.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 08:15:36 AM by LC »
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