Re: Stock Breeding & Patriarchialism.

From: John Croft
Message: 3747
Date: 2000-09-16

Mark wrote

> Once they started raising animals, however, and once they started
noticing the differences between one sire's offspring and that of
another, they very quickly acquired a very good seat-of-the-pants
understanding of mendelian genetics -- and selective breeding was off
and running.
> Once males understood they had a great deal to do with making a
baby, and just maybe, everything to do with making a baby (his seed
was planted in the 'earth' of the mother's womb), a sea-change in
attitudes developed. Men became much more concerned about ensuring
the authentic paternity of their children. A shift to patrilocalism
ensues; you happily support your brother's child, but you are
reluctant to support the child of an unrelated male.
AT first this patrilocalism would be difficult to enforce, especially
during the expansive "open frontier" stage in which swidden
agriculture made women economically very powerful in their economic
roles as food producers. But in the "secondary Products" revolution,
as the frontier closed, intergroup violence increased and was
institutionalised, and women became more excluded from productive
(agricultural) into deomestic roles, this concern about paternity
could be more rigidly socially inforced.

This is exactly what we see in successive Sumerian and Babylonian law
codes. The earliest codes (eg. Urukagina) show a great degree of
equality between the sexes, ease of divorce for women, women in a
wide variety of social roles, and womens indepenendent property
respected, to the later codes (eg. Hamurabi, the Mosaic codes) where
women are under male control, cannot initiate divorce, rigidly
punished for infidelity, confined to limited social roles, and
women's property becomes her husband's on marriage.

Hope this helps