Re: What Matriarchy? (was Drugs etc.)

sgf (
23 Jul 1996 20:26:18 GMT

In article <4suefs$>,
:) <> wrote:
>In <> (Aaron
>Clausen) writes:
>>When you look at history, all people shared work. Women took care of
>>the cave and the gathering, men went out and got big animals to eat.
>>Simplistic perhaps, but it gives you an idea.
>Really? And if this is so, and there is no documented proof in ancient
>history, how can you prove your ideas? How do you know for sure there
>was never a matriarchy? Just as we have no proof of that, we also have
>no proof there wasnt. Unless you base ancient history on cultures that
>DID record history much, much later.

No. We *don't* know for sure that there was never a matriarchy. But we
*do* know that so far we have never found one, and we know that
modern-day and recently-past cultures that live and lived close to the
same way that our hunting/gathering ancestors did all organize themselves
along women gather/men hunt lines. In most h/g cultures, these are not
hard-and-fast; i.e. a woman out gathering who sees an animal *and* is
carrying the weapons necessary won't be stopped from killing it because
it's "men's work" (although they usually come back and tell the men where
they saw it, for next day's hunt), and a man out hunting who's not having
much luck getting meat is likely to dig himself a few roots.

However, that's beside the point, because in these cultures there rarely
is on person or persons that has enough power for the group to be
considered an "-archy" of ANY sort. In h/g societies, leaders lead only
because the rest of the group lets them, and anyone who tries to exert
power over others is likely to be laughed out of office.

The people who are listened to and asked for advice tend to be not male,
not female, but *old*. The gender doesn't matter so much as accumulated

So, I would assume that there is a good chance that our ancestors did not
live in matriarchies *or* patriarchies, but gerontocracies, if one can
say that anyone has "power" over anyone else.


-- <*>
"Assiduous and frequent questioning is indeed the first key to wisdom ...for
by doubting we come to inquiry; through inquiring we perceive the truth..."
--Peter Abelard (..........I claim this .sig for Queen Elizabeth)