Re: Evolution of Sexism

Len Piotrowski (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 13:28:00 GMT

In article <4v47n9$> Beth Williams) writes:


>>-- Furl's comments -- the dynamics of social stability, and
>>possibility for cycles of instability --are intriguing.

>Before accepting Firl's comments as true, it would be useful to
>actually look at data (something he often forgets to do.) In
>egalitarian societies, women do not *fade* during times of intergroup
>violence/war...In fact, their social and economic importance is
>highlighted during these times (who keeps the group organized while the
>men are at war? Who feeds the remaining population and provisions
>travelling troops?) The development of patriarchy is linked not to
>violence (which is more likely a *symptom*) but to private property.

I have to agree with Mary Beth. The ethnographic record does not support
patriarchy as necessary and sufficient to account for the mobilization of
"man-power" in crisis situations (warfare, and forest clearing were the
proposed examples), but, on the contrary, it appears that the form of
lineal relationship structuring the social group has more importance and
success in this regard. And the most successful organizations would have to be
termed biarchical in general, matriarchical in the particular, in as much as
they include examples of matrilineal conical clans with paramount "chiefs" who
were women!


>Perhaps this line of thinking would pan out if there was an adequate
>base of evidence, but it is certainly obvious that so far, all of this
>has been merely subjective and anecdotal fluff. Look at some real
>ethnographic/archaeological studies, and then see if the SB argument

Good idea!