Matriarchal vs Patriarchal Society
Respect for women varies from culture to culture. The main difference seems to be between Patriarchal societies (where power resides with men) and Matriarchal (where power resides with women). Almost all Judeo/Christian societies are patriarchal, where as many primitive cultures are Matriarchal.
Believe it or not, in some societies women own the property and pass it down to their daughters. Women are the leaders and make the important decisions. And yes, it works just fine. So there is no inherent reason why women shouldn’t be treated equally.
My understanding (although I don’t have any figures on hand) is that Matriarchal societies are far less violent. In pagan belief, women or should I say feminitity is worshipped (as is mother nature) since women are the ones that bring new life into the world. Paganism has always been repressed by organized religion as they fear and supress the animal we all have within.
In the ’60s, women became aware of the discrimination and double standard imposed upon them by this male dominated society. This is because suddenly women became part of the workforce, but weren’t treated equally. It’s quite understandable since men hadn’t had to compete with women before.
Feminism became a very powerful movement in America and did help liberate women from some of the stereotypes. Men were extremely defensive for awhile as it’s difficult to change these ingrained patterns of thinking. (A lotta cognitive dissonance going on there)
Nowadays women do have more power and opportunities, but they still have far to go to counter centuries (or millenia) of cultural bias.
In my opinion, society would greatly benefit from a return to Matriarchy as the violence (almost entirely male in origin) has gotten out of hand. Some people say that it’s men’s nature to compete for women and if it takes a fist fight or a whole war, it’s something we should just accept as an expression of our animal nature. Bullshit. While there are many animals that do fight for mates, they rarely fight to the death. Only humans, the highest species does this, and for far less reason than mating.
On the positive side, changing roles is something not only challenging, but very enlightening. However it will take many generations before men and women can just be themselves without society dictating the roles. It’s our aging social and religious institutions that are slow to accept change. Even big business and government are unwilling to share power with women as long as the good ol’ boys are still around. Give it a couple of generations more and maybe we won’t have to be discussing this anymore.
Posted by: Skip