Re: Evolution of Sexism

Len Piotrowski (
Fri, 16 Aug 1996 19:00:32 GMT

In article <4v26k8$> (Bryant) writes:


>>I would
>>like to point out that the social goal of increasing the number of males in a
>>corporate group for the purposes of warfare on neighboring corporate groups
>>is _not_ facilitated as well by a patrilineal structural arrangement as that
>>provided by a matrilineal arrangement, suitably augmented by a corresponding
>>marriage-residence rule.

>Patrilineality is one component of patriarchy, which is what Mr. Firl was
>talking about, I believe. In fact, I know of no reason to think that
>patriarchy requires patrilineality.

So if "patriarchy" does not require patrilineality, than does it also include
matrilineality? [This is a trick question!] The point is, if patrilineality is
subsumed under "patriarchy" (note this doesn't demand that patrilineality
define the set "patriarchy," however you may wish to populate the domain) then
the implications of this social structural possibility contradict the model
for corporate group interaction and cooperation proposed here.

>>Unmarried children belong to the corporate group in
>>both arrangements, but males obtained through marriage can be made immediately
>>available to the matrilineal group for such real-time crisis like warfare.

>Obtained through marriage with whom?

With female members of the corporate group, of course (just kidding <g>).

>The groups you're at war with?

Lineal social structures are _not_ monolithic isolates. They sit
precisely in relationship to other lineal systems just as the persons within
each kin based line which constitute the larger corporate group.
The corporate group consists of "clusters" of family lines that define
relationship and position within a kin derived network of similar family
lines. Conflicts may develop between alliances of different family lines
constituting a corporate groups, or between corporate groups of the same kind,
or between unrelated neighboring groups.

>believe that the Yanomamo "court" their wives by kidnapping them
>from their enemies. Am I mistaken?

I think so. Hard to "court" your wife in "warfare" mode. <g> Besides, aren't
"courting" and "kidnapping" somewhat contradictory processes?



"If you can't remember what mnemonic means, you've got a problem."
- perlstyle