Re: Four fields and teaching intro courses

Thomas W. Rimkus (trimkus@COMP.UARK.EDU)
Tue, 4 Apr 1995 09:43:29 -0500

On Tue, 4 Apr 1995, Mike Salovesh wrote:

> There's nothing intrinsically outrageous in thinking that women may have
> been responsible for the food-producing revolution.

> Trouble is, although the question as I pose it makes some kind of serious
> anthropological sense, raising a spectre of shifting from gynocentric to
> androcentric food planting comes dangerously close to affirming totally
> unsubstantiated New Age myths about shifting from Goddess-based cultures
> to the God of the Old Testament. Most of what I've heard along those
> lines is as close to total crap as I ever want to get.
You have the time frame a bit confused here. The New Agers are talking
about a shift from an agriculturally based Goddess culture (which
according to Margret Conkey and others, has no evidentiary support) to
the male dominated militaristic culture we have witnessed since there was
anything accumulated enough to fight over. The agri/horticultural shift
occured much earlier. The problem for some with recognizing this earlier
shift in roles as a factor in shifting from egalitarian hunter/gathering
societies to patriarchies is the attendant requirment to stop blaming men
only as the perpetrators and perpetuators of the male dominated condition.
This unfortunately does not fit into the neat package of feminist dogma
as seen by some. If women, by bringing food production into the
proximity of the family compound, sent men of the period into some form
of identity crisis resulting in patriarchy, then women must take some
responsibility for the condition. Those feminists who are so quick to
point the finger at living men for the situation are not going to be
happy about this revelation. "Live by the gun, die by the gun."

BTW, it seems self evident from a quick perusal of the current human
condition, that the "female" invention of agriculture was one of the
monumental "bad ideas" of our specie. It has led us into the
unacceptable position of having populations larger than the range can
sustain. Where are the feminists who will stand and accept the
responsibility of these actions by their sisters of long ago?
Ironically, if we take a not so anthropomorphic vision of the world, we
might see warfare (the associated "male" invention) as something of a
godsend to the world outside our specie.

Tom Rimkus
Madison County