There is no doubt that patriarchy is realk and that it is evil. It hurts all women and most men - for it concentrates power in a few male hands. But is patriarchy the natural state of male culture or might it be an aberration that can be changed? My bet is that it is such a cultural aberration and that we are living in its end times.
I will argue that patriarchy is a product of our adoption of agriculture. It is recent and not a natural apsect of how men fit into the world.
This is the 4th and last part of a short series inspired by the continuing incidents of pathetic men going on killing sprees. My hope is that rather than simply condemn men as beign innately evil, that we may see the forces that have driven some men to be this way. In Part I we looked at how sensitive men are to the external culture. In Part II we see how boys are shaped into men or not. In Part III we looked at what boys need to be shaped into the best men possible.
Today we investigate whether men are patriarchal by their nature. If they are, then in the end we have no hope. My case is that patriarchy is a recent cultural addition that emerged for a reason and can so be done away with. I will make the case that men and women have a many millions of year long relationship that is based on a culture that is very different.
Ask yourself what is the essence of patriarchy?
It is the control of property.
For most of human and hominid life, millions of years, we lived as mobile hunter gatherers. While the group may feel that the area that they hunted in was collectively theirs, while the tribe thought that ALL the children were collectively theirs, no one had any personal property other than a few prized weapons or tools. It was impossible to own personal property.
Children were not personal. In traditional societies children are raised by all adults. As we investigate human female anatomy with hidden estrous, with an angled vagina that promotes face to face, we can see that for humans sex was not about exclusively about reproduction. For humans and Bonobos, sex is primarily relational. In hunter gatherer bands, women often share their lives and bodies with several men. This makes sense. It's her insurance for the kids. Adults did not own each other. And men certainly did not own women.
Even today in traditional societies, adults do not try and control their children as is the norm in the developed world. Their is no sense of ownership or of being let down when a child makes any kind of decision. Adults do not identify with their kids lives.
Humans, wolves and killer whales are the only mammals to share food. In a tribe, all adults participate in an economny that is designed to benefit not one person but the entire tribe. The idea that one person might get more is impossible. In fact in most traditional societies, the big man is the most generous. He gives the most. And the economy is not just about hunting. Most of the food liley came from gathering.
Gathering was not a minor aspect either. Both hunting and gathering demanded immense skill. Skills that took decades to learn. It made sense to divide the labour between men and women. For both had to be expert. Both had advantages over the other. Women have manual dexterity men have the strength to carry a carcass for 20 miles home. Neither could survive without the other.
Both hunting and gathering also have nothing to do with trying to control or to dominate nature. Both depend on the opposite. They demand deep deep knowledge of how nature works and how to work with nature. There is no attempt to control nature or to own any part of how nature works.
The tribe is a social and also an economic unit. The problem that it is designed to solve is the eternal problem that confronts all humans.
Humans take up to 25 years to reach full mental and physical maturity when they can fully contribute to the economic and social capital of the tribe. This is a massive amount of time and energy to spend on raising the next generation. Nearly of of ehat the young have to learn to brong them to this point is learned by cultural transmission. Instinct plays a very small part.