Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Susan (
29 Jul 1996 19:05:55 GMT

Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
>Susan wrote:
>> So if occasionally people find empowerment in the notion that there might
>> have been societies in the past where women could give as good as they've
>> been getting in so many parts of the world in so many periods in the
>> past, then the fact that there is no scientific (and I understand and
>> accept all the use of that word implies!) evidence to support such an
>> idea should not get in the way of celebrating the ideology behind the
>> protest.
>> Susan
>Then you must really like "Afrocentrism", which make some very nearly
>insane claims. For example, it claims that the Greeks, and therefore
>all Western civilization, stole their philosophy from the (black)

I just posted a rather lengthy reply where I answered this. But I will
say that I don't "like" Afrocentrism in the sense of its problematic
science. But at the same time, I acknowledge the fact that African
Americans have (IMO justifiably) felt excluded from the "great
developments of civilization", which are so often presented as being only
of European origin. I am amazed at how, for example, archeaology courses
are taught without ever mentioning African societies from the past and
their particular achievements. Once humans evolve, Africa drops off the
map. This is an example of how people come to feel like they don't have
an identity. I think it's possible to acknowledge the feeling behind the
desire to put "your people" at the front, without agreeing to the method
chosen to do so. My response to Afrocentrism is to agree that there is a
situation that needs rectifying, and to substitute what I consider to be
better evidence of African cultural achievement for what usually comes
under the rubric of Afrocentrism. Simply dismissing it as bad science
and offering nothing in return doesn't address the problem, only the

>If a group of people "find empowerment" in false notions of historical
>supremacy then there are setting themselves up for a fall. The truth
>and the facts will win in the end. The Nazis found this out when they
>used their Aryan fantasies to justify their cruelty. (I'm not accusing
>anyone of being a Nazi.)

Agreed. But screaming about "bad science", as many have done over
Afrocentrism, wouldn't have changed the Nazi agenda. All the "facts" in
the world will not change some people's viewpoints. IMO, you have a
better chance of reaching those who can be reached by understanding the
underlying motivation and addressing that with better science, than you
do by simply tearing apart people's ideas without offering anything in
return. People who are made to feel stupid rarely react positively, in
my experience, and that's what usually happens when you ignore the
meaning to focus only on the "facts."

> Steve Barnard



"Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps."
-- Emo Phillips