[11] Uncovering Women in History

WomenMakingHistory-blog

 

 

 

Lets think about this: if history is only viewed from the perspective of men, then it is entirely inaccurate to generalize history to apply to both men and women. While everyone at some point in their life may experience discrimination and exclusion, no man has ever been excluded from history due to his gender; yet at some points in time, all women were excluded.

The Creation of Patriarchy further enforces this on page 5, where it declares, “woman are the majority, yet we are structured into social institutions as though we were a minority.” Patriarchy has established itself in the social, legal, political, and economic society within a wide range of different civilizations. Females are necessary and crucial to the structure of society. (The Creation of Patriarchy)

Isn’t it absurd to think about how the world would be without women. Oh right, there wouldn’t be one anymore becaUSE WOMEN ARE A NECESSITY (as are men). Anatomically speaking, in order to create new life and new history both males and females are required. The idea that a woman is docile and inferior is a very old world thought, and is thankfully disappearing from younger generations’ minds.

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“Hidden Figures” Movie Poster

On page 6, The Creation of Patriarchy sums up the problem in one sentence, “The existence of women’s history has been obscured and neglected by patriarchal thought, a fact which has significantly affected the psychology of men and women.” (The Creation of Patriarchy) There is a minimal amount of knowledge available about the history of women.

One thing we can say for sure is that society has been male governed for a long time and that everyone knows how differently the gender roles are viewed. The sets of social and behavioral norms that are seen as acceptable for women and men are vastly distinctive and quite opposite.

This leads to inequality within society. With the help of social media – we can trace the History of Patriarchy leading us to “Her” story or otherwise know has the History of Women.In fact, feminists frequently use the term Herstory to talk exclusively about women’s history.

Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold the primary power over women. Not only are men within patriarchal societies trying to control and dominate women, but also each other. Women have flown under the radar for much of history because of the patriarchy. The problem that this creates is that the recorded history of humankind is only partially correct.

crazy right!?

rosa+parks+10On page 4, of The Creation of Patriarchy states, “from the time of the king lists of ancient Sumer on, historians, whether priests, royal servants, clerks, clerics, or a professional class of university-trained intellectuals, have selected the events to be recorded and have interpreted them so as to give them meaning and significance.”

Until the most recent past, these historians have been men, and what they have recorded is what men have done and experienced and found significant. They have called this history and claimed universality for it. What women have done and experienced has been left unrecorded, neglected, and ignored in interpretation.” (The Creation of Patriarchy)

Within the book, Issues in Feminism: A First Course in Women’s Studies, on page 5 Ruth discusses the two separate attitudes people have about the subject of inequality. “One approach, using anthropological, biological, historical and psychological evidence, argues that women are essentially no different from men, and that therefore in a differently structured society it would be possible for divisions based upon sex or gender differences to disappear, leaving us with an equal society.

The other approach argues that women are essentially different from men and that print_differentbutequalinequality results in an undervaluing of female activities and characteristics… Women’s studies can thus be seen to be linked to two concepts of equality, which we may call ‘plain equal’ or ‘equal but different’.” (Issues in feminism)

Women will only be equal to men when women’s perspective is equivalent with men’s perspective. In the journal article Liberty, Patriarchy, and Feminism by Richard A. Epstein, he states, “In matters of sex, as well as matters of race, however, the shift from formal equality to social equality is far more complex than a simple change in words.” (Epstein, R. A.) Inequality can always be subjugated but never expunged.

No one can really pinpoint where patriarchy began but it is clear that it was not just one sole event, but instead it was a progression that developed over time for hundreds of years. The commonly accepted theory about the origin of patriarchy is that in early human history, the life expectancy was so low that women had to give birth to numerous children in order to continue the bloodlines. Women around the world were preoccupied with taking care of their home and children so men took on the hunting aspect of life.

As a result, men became the dominant gender. Women were taken for granted and became second-class citizens. On page 131, of Feminist Issues in Literary Scholarship, the author suggests,  “…how deeply fear of women’s power shaped the culture we refer to as simply patriarchal or male-dominated…” (Benstock, S.) Men fear women’s liberation because this will make the women no longer the underclass. If women were to climb in rank, men would likely drop accordingly. An example from The Creation of Patriarchy, on page 8, talks about how in Babylon in the second millennium B.C. women’s sexuality was totally governed by men.

The author identifies that the main form of control was related to women’s sexuality and procreativity. He goes on to say, “The appropriation by men of women’s sexual and reproductive capacity occurred prior to the formation of private property and class society.” This goes to show that governing women is the groundwork of private property. Men learned to institute supremacy over other people by their earlier practice of authority over the women of their own group. At one point in history, men decided it was not enough to control women and began to try and control each other.

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