The Pathos of Politics (47) Feminism


The story of the human race begins with the female. Woman carried the original human chromosome as she does to this day; her evolution adaptation ensured the survival and success of the species; her work of mothering provided the cerebral spur for human communication and social organization. Yet for generations of historians, archeologists and biologists, the sole star of the dawn story has been man. ~ English author Rosalind Miles

Throughout history, almost all polities have been patriarchal. Only men could own property or participate in public affairs. Ancient Greece was exemplary. Participation in Athenian democracy was limited to property-owning men.

In the latter part of the Middle Ages European women did gain the slightest say, but male landowners remained the only ones with a political voice that mattered.

Husband and wife are one, and that one is the husband. ~ English jurist William Blackstone

Native Americans

In native American tribes, women typically had equal standing with men in community matters. Women elders voted on hereditary male chiefs and could depose them.

The Iroquois, like many indigenous peoples, had a matrilineal kinship system. Property inheritance went through the female line.

The reason is that women were superior contributors to their tribes’ well-being. They provided most of the food and created most of the crafts. Their healing skills were equal to those of men. Women took care of religious artifacts; a responsibility of the highest order.

Women had a right to divorce. Since they owned the lodge, a unworthy husband might find himself homeless, with only the horse he rode in on.