[11] Uncovering Women in History – Part 2

The main form of control in the past 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

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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.


Men continually compete for dominance in social communications with one another. Men’s social character is expressed by the power they hold over women and over other men. Rothblum in chapter 25 refers to this idea of power as what men would deem being a “real man” is. (Solovay, S., & Rothblum)

Patriarchy then becomes a twofold system. One system would be where men oppress women. The other system being where men oppress each other. On page 9, of The Creation of Patriarchy, the author discusses, “women’s sexual subordination was institutionalized in the earliest law codes and enforced by the full power of the state. Women’s cooperation in the system was secured by various means: force, economic dependency on the male head of the family, class privileges bestowed upon conforming and dependent women of the upper classes…”  (The Creation of Patriarchy)

ideal-mate-womanMen’s class was ranked based on their relationship to the means of productions. This means if a man owned all the means of production in his town, he could dominate all others who did not.

On the contrary, women’s class was ranked based on their sexual relationship to a man. Further into The Creation of Patriarchy, he states, “the division of women into “respectable” (that is, attached to one man) and “not-respectable” (that is, not attached to one man or free of all men) is institutionalized in laws…” (The Creation of Patriarchy)

What frustrates me about this is that how is a woman “not-respectable” when she is doing more on her own than with a man? Additionally, while men may hold the position of head of the household, women are held responsible for all childcare and household needs in addition to possibly holding a job outside the home.

This sounds like a lot more work for the woman than the man. In the article, Role Overload, Job Satisfaction, Leisure Satisfaction and Psychological Health Among

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Employed Women, it clearly states, “Compared with employed men, employed women continue to bear far greater responsibility for household tasks (Wentling, 1998) and caregiving responsibilities (Riemenschnieder & Harper, 1990), even among professionals such as academic faculty (Lease, 1999).” (Pearson, Q. M)


This quote is more contemporary compared among others I have previously stated but its basic message still holds the same importance. In the article, Rise of Public Woman: Woman’s Power and Woman’s Place in the United States, the author sums it up well by saying, “public women’s private lives are still subject to more scrutiny than men’s.” (Rise of Public Woman)

Although most like to ignore this truth, we live in a heavily patriarchal society that will not change until people begin to examine their unconscious cultured behaviors and presumed stereotypes.


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