Dammit, I thought I was done with this topic by now. Oh well.
My last two posts on the Patriarchy subject dealt with what men do to contribute to society and Patriarchy itself. This post will talk about the ladies.
In my original post on the subject, I stated that.
But just as modern society needs men’s consent, every society needs women’s consent. What is even more fundamental than men’s technology is women’s investment to keep the species going. We might live a primitive existence if men went on strike, but we would see a Children of Men scenario if women went on strike.
But they never have gone on strike.
The feminist historical narrative says that women have been oppressed throughout history due to Patriarchy and its social norms. However there was no revolution, no feminist movement, for those thousands and thousands of years up until the white, rich European women read some Marx. Until our recent century, women never found their system so oppressive that they needed to use their power against it. Why is that? Why didn’t they just rise up?
Because women were the ones who maintained it.
While state and law is the realm of men, tradition and social custom is the realm of women. They communicate with the women of their group and develop a consensus of what behavior is acceptable or not. They ostracize those who do not adhere to those norms and they give social approval to those that do. Having access to their children, women then teach these norms to the next generation who continue the cycle. For thousands of years, while men have engaged in building civilization, women have engaged in perpetuating the social memes that keep civilized people together.
At one time, a Spartan woman gave birth to a Spartan son and a Spartan daughter. For the few years while she has her son, she taught what will be expected of him as a Spartan man. The first ideas of manhood were not only given to him by his father but also by his mother. The Spartan woman showed her daughter what it meant to be a Spartan woman and taught her the obligations that she must uphold when she came of age. The Spartan mother not only had the power of giving birth to the next generation of Spartans, but she had the power to teach her children the Spartan customs and traditions that they would eventually adhere to. If ancient Sparta was considered a Patriarchy, then this Spartan woman has contributed to it. But why? Well, there could have been many reasons. Perhaps the Spartan mother thought that these social arrangements were for the good of her society, or maybe she, and others like her, benefited personally.
However, one thing that would be difficult to conclude is that this Spartan woman had been oppressed by her own social institutions. What reason would she have to continue these norms if they had been truly oppressive? She certainly wouldn’t have taught her daughters to be Spartan women if she thought they were going to be crushed by the system.
As I said before regarding men:
And likewise, any society which does not meet women’s needs will quickly fall as women see no reason to uphold tradition or reproduce. Looking back, women continued to reproduce and consistently upheld the cultural norms of Patriarchy across cultures and for thousand of years. So what does this tell us about Patriarchy or its supposed oppression?
At the end of the day, in contrary to feminist ideology, you cannot “oppress” women through culture, for they are the masters of its craft. Given that they upheld Patriarchy for so long, something tells me that women weren’t nearly as oppressed as our modern women’s studies professors say they were.