Debate and inform me PLEASE: Are we still affected by Christian Patriarchy? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 98 Old 08-11-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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I'm at your reply. I certainly don't think that there is a biological reason why men *should* be in charge, if that's what you meant. I stated that quite clearly in my post. However, I do think it is likely that there are biological reasons why men *have* been in charge for most of human history. And yes of course it is an assumption. An assumption based on logic. There's no biological evidence one way or the other, so logical assumptions are the best we have.

The logic is, (if you believe in evolution, if not none of this applies), that human society evolved in certain ways because it made sense to the human creatures that were evolving it. It fit with their needs. For example, all human societies have evolved as cooperative societies. We live and work in groups. Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that humans have a biological need for companionship; if not we would have evolved as a society of loners like orangutans. Likewise, throughout history women have been the primary caretakers of the children. It makes sense that this happened because it fit with the biology, we have the maternal hormones and breasts whereas men don't. Now there is nothing biological about men that makes them more suitable for leadership per se, but given the cooperative nature of human society and the fact that women were often in a vulnerable postpartum state (no birth control outside of ebf) it would be reasonable to assume that men took on the role of protector and guardian. They are biologically bigger, stronger, and have more testosterone. It was a division of labor that made sense back then.

To me, this is a reasonable biologically-based explanation of how the patriarchy happened. It's not proof of anything, just a logical guess. It is most certainly not a justification for continuing the patriarchy today.

I'm also how you think the human race would survive if all the men died out tomorrow. Last I checked, it takes contributions from both sexes to make a baby. Even if you froze a whole lot of sperm, it wouldn't be enough to keep us going indefinitely...
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#92 of 98 Old 08-11-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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I'm at your reply. I certainly don't think that there is a biological reason why men *should* be in charge, if that's what you meant. I stated that quite clearly in my post. However, I do think it is likely that there are biological reasons why men *have* been in charge for most of human history. And yes of course it is an assumption. An assumption based on logic. There's no biological evidence one way or the other, so logical assumptions are the best we have.
I disagree. Stating that there is a biological reason that men "have" been in charge is where Id like some more evidence. If there is one then there should be evidence of it. To me that is logical. Your proposal is like coming to a conclusion and finding evidence for it, whereas I like to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion..
as far as the men dying out...there are enough currently pregnant women and stored sperm that I think humans would be OK if all the men did die, whereas humans CANNOT continue if all the women died. Women, to me, are more essential to humans surviving than men.

Mama to ds 6/00 and dd 1/09
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#93 of 98 Old 08-12-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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If there is one then there should be evidence of it. To me that is logical. Your proposal is like coming to a conclusion and finding evidence for it, whereas I like to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion..
If that's the case, I'd love to know what your evidence is for your opinion that there is no biological reason for the patriarchy. You make the strong claim that it is ABSURD to think that there may biological reasons for why human societies largely evolved as patriarchies, yet as far as I can see you have offered no evidence to support your position, except to say that there is no physical evidence to support the biology argument. But absence of evidence is not the same thing as positive evidence. By that logic, atoms didn't exist until scientists develop the technology to detect them. By that logic God or anything spiritual does not exist.

Seems to me you are doing the same thing that you say I am; stating a position with no evidence to back up your position.

Given the lack of biological evidence, the only true conclusion we can come to is that we just don't know why the patriarchy evolved as the dominant model. That's where I stand. We don't know, but we can make guesses. It seems reasonable to me given the universal nature of it that it was based in our biological realities back then. However I am very clear that this is only a theory based on logical guesses, not a truth. The way you presented your opinion makes it sound as though you think it is absolute, provable truth.

ETA: It occurs to me that maybe your evidence is the fact that women give birth i.e. the human race could last a couple generations after all the men died out whereas it wouldn't last at all if all the women died out. But I don't really get the connection between that fact and the partriarchy. Ancient societies did not go around asking "who is more vital to the propagation of our species?" and then choose their leaders accordingly. Human history is pretty much the story of might makes right. Whoever was the strongest and the most aggressive was the one who seized power. Given that, it seems to me that men had a biological advantage because they had more testosterone (= more general tendency toward aggression) and they were not tied down during certain periods of their lives during childbearing and rearing. Nowadays we are ever so slowly evolving past the might makes right model -- at least we pay lip service to the ideas of justice and equality -- and the patriarchy is weakening. I think it'll take a very long time to die out though.
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#94 of 98 Old 08-13-2007, 08:53 AM
 
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Human history is pretty much the story of might makes right. Whoever was the strongest and the most aggressive was the one who seized power. Given that, it seems to me that men had a biological advantage because they had more testosterone (= more general tendency toward aggression) and they were not tied down during certain periods of their lives during childbearing and rearing.
YES! This is why men have been in charge...they are physically stronger. But, therorizing here, if our biological instincts dictate that we reproduce and further the race then would it not make more sense that women were held in higher regard? That is until men figured out thwy can just physically dominate us...

Mama to ds 6/00 and dd 1/09
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#95 of 98 Old 08-14-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourgrtkidos View Post
I think this belongs in this forum, (but move it if you must): Because of Judaeo-Christian foundation of this country/ western society and it's effects on us in this present day and age. I assume this could be viewed also from political points of view, but expect the most educated on this subject to hang out here.

I have come across several websites and books lately that state we live in a post-patriarchal society. That we as a society are founded in patriarchy, but that oppression of women and patriarchal rule are in the past. That if we suffer from being opressed by patriarchal rule, we are only doing it to ourselves and that in this day and age patriarchy does not exist and women do not suffer at the hands of men. These authors seem to think that there are a few individual men that see themselves as superior to women but that in general, women are now elavated as equals and not oppressed.

I am wondering, if I live with my head in the sand and have missed the revolution, because this is not my experience.:

I see our country and society still firmly rooted in Judao-Christian patriarchy and women oppressed daily "in general".....
I agree. Women and children and those who are not viewed as "straight" are still at risk from the patriarchy. Anyone who can't see that isn't looking.

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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
It's an interpretive choice by the contemporary Church(es) to latch on to these aspects of Christianity. There are counter-texts and counter-traditions aplenty. You could also say, "Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman, man had nothing to do with him," (a quote from Sojourner Truth) and that could be the dominant interpretation.

There are people who argue that the tradition of nuns celibacy is a method of avoiding compulsory heterosexuality. The problem isn't that nuns are celibate--it's that they don't get to create canon law.

In Judaism we have similar counter-traditions--mystical interpretations of God that include feminine aspects, for example. The reason that we don't have a dominant feminist interpretation is that men hold all the power of interpretation!

It's not the texts that are the problem, I think, but who gets to interpret them.
Those who win the wars write the history, or in this case holy, books.
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I will never feel that women are equal until the ERA passes, we have an equal number of women in congress, have had at least one female president, and have seen womens sports achieve the same status as mens sports. I will not feel that women are equal until we have abolished the words bitch and whore being used to refer to women. I will not feel we have achieved equality until women are no longer being raped as a spoil of war in any country. And seriously, can anyone really think we have achieved equality when so many devalue stay at home moms?
Yes!

As for patriarchy being biological I have heard this in a different light which sort of makes sense.

You always know who the babies mother is. The father is a crap shoot of how good the mother's word is unless you have her cloistered away. Men not being stupid figuired this out and being the larger gender pressed their larger advantage.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#96 of 98 Old 08-17-2007, 04:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamamillet View Post
YES! This is why men have been in charge...they are physically stronger. But, therorizing here, if our biological instincts dictate that we reproduce and further the race then would it not make more sense that women were held in higher regard? That is until men figured out thwy can just physically dominate us...
Maybe we are defining "biology" differently, because as far as I can see we agree with each other. You say that one of the reasons why men have been in charge is because they are physically stronger. Physical strength is a biological factor. Thus, it is likely that there are biological factors which led to the creation of the patriarchy. That's how I reason it.

And no, I don't think that biological instincts would lead men to hold women in higher regard. I'm inclined to agree with Pynki, that womens' ability to bear children only leads to men trying to control women, because the men's biological instincts want to ensure the propagation of their genes. Maybe way back in the mists of time, before recorded history, most societies were matriarchal, but we just don't know. I'm still not quite getting what that has to do with the reality of the patriarchy today.
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#97 of 98 Old 08-18-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourgrtkidos View Post
OMG.... where did this thread go..... to space and beyond.....:

I understand my experience is different than any one else's, yet similar because we all live in America.... did not know Judeo-Christian offended anyone, that is the phrasing I hear and didn't know it was politically incorrect. I am not going to talk about patriarchy in the east, I have no experience of it.

I grew up in the Church and do not agree that patriarchy and oppression can not be blamed on Christianity.
1. Women are blamed for the "fall"
2. Pain in childbirth is a "curse"
3. Women's sexuality is "shameful" only holy virgin could give birth to the savior, nuns have to be chaste
4. All aspects of the trinity are referred to as male

This creeps into people's pysche, and women are treated as less than and in extreme cases with disgust. It has influenced prevalent secular thinking, too. I am confused how women, even if you are Christian and defending your faith, do not see the undertones and influences that subconsciously tell women they are less valuable.
1. The Bible is clear that "all" have sinned, and repeatedly refers to the sin of Adam as the downfall of mankind.
2. Man was also cursed with toil and labor.
3. It was not sexuality that was the issue with Mary, it was the divinely human nature of Christ that results from her union with the Spirit of God. The NT refers to the marriage bed as "pure" and sex within the covenant of marriage is pure and holy
4. Yes, Christianity has a male Godhead - but God also has female characteristics - in Isaiah we are said to be comforted by God as we would be by an overflowing breast


I think it is faulty to assume that different = less valuable. Look at the way we are made. I am nearing the end of pregnancy again and am slower. I need to rest more. My dh does not. I have the womb that bears our children and the breasts that nourish them. My dh does not. I am biologically made to be a homemaker more than he is. I think that shows a divine design and order. Not that I have a lesser role, just a different one.

Tamara: hs'ing Christian mom of five here and five in Heaven. Joyfully awaiting Punkin, coming mid-Sept!
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#98 of 98 Old 08-23-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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Resurrecting this thread to post an article that I stumbled across in the NYT last night... it seems to apply. I'm not sold on all of this guys ideas, but they are interesting. Basically he is arguing against the model that the patriarchy was created and sustained by men trying to keep women down, and proposes a model where biological and cultural factors drive both men and women in different ways which has resulted in gender inequality.

It can't really be summarized as he covers a lot of ground, but here is a snip:

Quote:
To summarize my main points: A few lucky men are at the top of society and enjoy the culture’s best rewards. Others, less fortunate, have their lives chewed up by it. Culture uses both men and women, but most cultures use them in somewhat different ways. Most cultures see individual men as more expendable than individual women, and this difference is probably based on nature, in whose reproductive competition some men are the big losers and other men are the biggest winners. Hence it uses men for the many risky jobs it has.

Culture is not about men against women. By and large, cultural progress emerged from groups of men working with and against other men. While women concentrated on the close relationships that enabled the species to survive, men created the bigger networks of shallow relationships, less necessary for survival but eventually enabling culture to flourish. The gradual creation of wealth, knowledge, and power in the men’s sphere was the source of gender inequality. Men created the big social structures that comprise society, and men still are mainly responsible for this, even though we now see that women can perform perfectly well in these large systems.
Here's the link: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm

I don't like the fact that he completely left out the factor of how women being the ones caring for the children affects women's position in society (less time to devote to other pursuits, less willing to take risks, etc). But I do agree with his general premise that the patriarchy emerged from natural factors rather than being a male plot to subjugate women. Some men have taken advantage of it to subjugate women, sure, but I don't think that is the core of the issue.

Oh, and mamamillet, he agrees with you that women are FAR MORE IMPORTANT to human reproduction than men. There's some great bits in there -- you gotta love a guy who comes up with phrases like "there is a penile surplus".
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