Re: Evolution of Sexism

Ronald Kephart (
22 Aug 1996 14:58:11 GMT (Robert Snower) wrote:
>The Yanomamo are one kind of patriarchy. But it doesn't have to go
>that way. The classical Greek period was another patriarchy, evolving
>from matriarchy. The beginnings of Western culture!

The Yanomami barely qualify as a "patriarchy" since they are a
relatively egalitarian society, on the cusp between foraging and
horticulture. Men, while certainly dominant, are limited in various ways
as to what they can get away with.

My Greek history colleague tells me that there is no evidence that there
ever was a "matriarchy" out of which classical Greek culture might have
developed. The best we can do, according to him, is suggest
matrilineality, which is not the same thing as matriarchy.
Unfortunately (and I mean that sincerely) we have no reliable evidence
of "matriarchy" in the ethnographic record, anywhere.

Ron Kephart
University of North Florida