Re: Swyer's questions on Power

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 23:55:00 -0500

On Wed, 13 Mar 1996, Ruby Rohrlich wrote:

Ruby, why do have to drag down the quality of what has been an excellent
debate on power and some very fine posting by Davenport, McCreery,
Thorton, and others, on this issue of feminism and our miserable
relationship to each other? For whatever it is worth, and you can check
it out with the new owner, Patrick Miller, I have asked him to please,
please include some women on the board. It's clearly under consideration.
In the meantime, why not let this splendid bit of communication that has
made almost all of us pround to be anthropologists on Anthro-l again
continue without your miserable interruptions and ill-humor.
Ralph Holloway

> Professor Thornton: I do not understand how you can say we
> should leave the term "patriarchy" behind.Staying with the United States
> alone, look at Congress: men are very dominant politically.
> Economically, in every type of business and profession, women have gotten
> up to the middle levels, but not at all to the top. Religiously,less
> important, but the ministers, priests and rabbis are still mainly men.
> How would you describe this situation except as patriarchal. If you
> don't like this word, you'd have to find a synonym for it. Moreover, the
> fact that we here live in what I and many others call a patriarchy, that
> is, men holding most of the power politically, economically and religiously
> means that even men who don't in reality have much of that kind of power,
> actually share in it symbolically; that is, they are men, and it is men
> who have the power. Just to bring it down to the situation on this list,
> do you think it is happenstance that the three antowners and five members
> of the board of governors of Anthro-L are all male, even though women
> constitute almost 40% of the list. I have mentioned this several times,
> but none of the "governors" have even bothered to do anything about it;
> no one except Holloway, my most ardent admirer, has even responded, and
> what a response that was! If it doesn't really make any difference, what
> would you all say if there were eight women running the show, with 40% of
> the membership being men. Even if the governance here doesn't much
> matter, the symbolism matters, and folks are accepting the situation
> because they're used to having men run the show. Ruby Rohrlich