The Creation of Patriarchy

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Oxford University Press, 1986 - 318 pages
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A major new work by a leading historian and pioneer in women's studies, The Creation of Patriarchy is a radical reconceptualization of Western civilization that makes gender central to its analysis. Gerda Lerner argues that male dominance over women is not natural or biological, but the
product of an historical development begun in the second millennium B.C. in the Ancient Near East. As patriarchy as a system of organizing society was established historically, she contends, it can also be ended by the historical process.

Focusing on the contradiction between women's central role in creating society and their marginality in the meaning-giving process of definition and interpretation, Lerner explores such fascinating questions as: What can account for women's exclusion from the historical process? What could explain
the long delay--more than 3,500 years--in women's coming to consciousness of their own subordinate position? She goes back to the cultures of the earliest known civilizations--those of the ancient Near East--to discover the origins of the major gender metaphors of Western civilization. Using
historical, literary, archaeological, and artistic evidence, she then traces the development of these ideas, symbols, and metaphors and their incorporation into Western civilization as the basis of patriarchal gender relations.


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Women and history

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Using admittedly sparse prehistorical evidence, Lerner offers a plausible multicausal theory to explain the development of the patriarchical system. She seeks to show that the subordination of women ... Read full review

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You can't smash the patriarchy if you don't understand what it is in the first place.
The modern MRA (Men's Right Movement) is based on a complete misunderstanding of feminism and what patriarchy
actually is and what it isn't.
If men read this book, they would understand what it is exactly that is oppressing them and boy howdy, it isn't feminists. But, interestingly enough, it can be women, as this book explains.
The modern befuddlement over "white" women and the Republican vote is also explained in this book. And when you understand it, you will know exactly how to defeat it.


A Working Hypothesis
The StandIn Wife and the Pawn
The Woman Slave
The Wife and the Concubine
Veiling the
The Goddesses
The Patriarchs
The Covenant
The Creation of Patriarchy

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About the author (1986)

Gerda Lerner, Robinson-Edwards Professor of History and Senior Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is the author of eight books, including Black Women in White America and The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History. She is the recipient of the AAUW
Achievement Award for 1986 and was past president of the Organization of American Historians.

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