2.03.2010

Emergence of Civilization and Fall into Patriarchal Dominion

http://www.dhushara.com/paradoxhtm/fall.htm
http://www.dhushara.com/paradoxhtm/fall/dolnip.jpg
[Dolni Vestonice, in Czech Republic, is a site of an encampment
of mammoth hunters dating from about 30,000 years ago.]

There are two sexually polarized theories of human cultural origins, both of which have failed to stand the test of empirical evidence. The first is 'man the hunter' suggesting that male strength and hunting prowess led both to male dominance, and intelligence and culture, through skills of hunting, such as tool-making.
Man the hunter theories are prone to stress male violence and treat women as mere possessions and tradeable items. While they do fit well with our cultural paradigm of male dominance, they do not well-explain the origin of intelligence, nor do they fit well with what we know of so-called primal cultures, where women bring in the majority of the diet by gathering, making them more autonomous as child-rearers than the theory would allow. As a natural successor of the 'killer-ape' theory it gives a pessimistic view of humanity's violence and viability.
The counterpoised matriarchal origin theory is the 'mother-right' proposed by Johan Jakob Bachofen - an evolutionary 'advance' in which an intervening stage of matriarchy led society out of barbarism into modern patriarchy, which he deemed the triumph of superior political and religious thought and organization, despite advocating the incorporation of the 'feminine principle' of nurturance and altruism in modern society. The Swiss philologist proposed an era of 'unregulated hetaerism' in which women were sexually degraded and defenseless, followed by an 'Amazon' revolt that inaugurated an era of matriarchy. In this stage, women created marriage to tame the male. This supposedly still-animalistic and 'backward' era was superseded by a 'higher' stage of human development: patriarchy. He never used the term matriarchy but 'mutterricht' and gynecocracy, for 'rule by women'.
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