Why are there more patriarchies in human history than matriarchies?


Why are there more patriarchies in human history than matriarchies?

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The rise of patriarchies is connected to agricultural revolution. Hunter and gatherer societies werent patriarchies, but after people started to grow crops and farm animals, men became the only one who could do a certain important part of those jobs. At the same time, people starting to live in one place most of their life meant that people who could attack you over resources/steal your food or possession rised, which lead to the need of some sort of armed protection, which again was done mostly by men, since they tend to be bigger and stronger than women.

It’s hard for women to fight wars and establish dominance when they’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Before modern-ish medicine (late 18th century), 2 out of 3 women were fated to die giving birth to their nth child.

That translates to 66.7% of the female population dying before they underwent menopause, at round 45-50 years of age. Might’ve been even earlier due to malnutrition.

It’s not a great policy to center your society around a group of people with that high of a mortality rate. There would be no stability in such a system.

Also, societies which *did* treat their women better, that is, the ones that didn’t treat them like baby factories, would get out-competed by the ones that *did* in case of plagues and wars. And both of them were way more rampant after humans settled down to farm.

The average man can beat the living shit out almost all women.

And there’s the reason. It’s a bit hard to be in charge when you can’t enforce it.

This isn’t something that has a widely accepted answer. Most of the societies that we have a lot of historical records about have been patriarchal to varying degrees. There are quite a few examples of societies that appear to be more egalitarian or even matriarchal, for example the Mosuo, but they’re in the minority. A lot of people believe that pre-agricultural societies generally had egalitarian gender roles, but there is only very limited evidence about how these societies functioned, so it’s hard to be certain. But if that’s true it suggests that the rise of agriculture may have had something to do with it.

Obviously cultural practices tend to spread from one place to another, so in most cases you can’t really say that different cultures developed a patriarchy independently of each other. For example it seems that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were probably patriarchal, and some aspects of their culture happened to end up spreading far and wide (3.2 billion people speak languages that are ultimately descended from theirs, including English, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, etc.). So it may just be a historical accident that patriarchal cultures ended up being more influential.

One of the main reasons is capability of the two genders. Some scientists followed a few African tribes that lived in the hunter/gather lifestyle for a year. They found the individual mans effort of hunting and limited farming resulted in a caloric surplus between 5 to 7 people. Women’s efforts was caloricaly neutral or slightly negative. Children are all negative until the boys are 10 to 12.

In other words, when life is hard male toil and work is worth considerably more than female. Women on their own and with children face starvation.

This is just one factor and doesn’t take into consideration protection of the community which the men did as well.

Even if men and women had equal strength, one cannot underestimate the stronghold of pregnancy and child rearing. Even before one looks visibly pregnant, chances are she’s nauseated and having a hard time feeding herself. When the child arrives it’s more than a full time job around the clock and then she gets pregnant again. This is a challenge in the modern world. Imagine back then

You ever seen that bear grills show where it was men on an island and women on another island surviving.

Tldr, the men formed a functional tribe with fishing and water reclamation and structures and worked all day

The women sunbathed bickered and got to the verge of death constantly and barely made it through alive dispute the producers cheating on their behalf

Our species evolved in a way that put males in the position of caring for and protecting women and children. When we started building civilizations, this part of our history was not lost. For the most part, men were building society while women and children were left in a safe place. Although men often took their dominance too far, often resulting in abuse, women simply had no choice but to remain in their position in society. Advanced technology has changed this over the past couple centuries but as they say, old habits die hard.