On the great debate of our age – gender in our society…
Someone said men’s control of women in the patriarchy arises out of fear… here are my thoughts on the subject –
Are fear and insecurity the same??? I think/feel there are differences. Feeling inadequate/insecure runs deeper and longer in our lives and culture than fear.
To me fear is an immediate response to real danger… so most men, well me anyway, would not relate to the suggestion of fear as part of the culturally constructed love domestic intimate relationships (arranged or otherwise) – except in abusive relationships.
I think the gender differences run deep and start with biological drivers but then go BEYOND THEM.
I think modern feminists under-estimate the power of women in the past based on stereotypes that come out of male wishful thinking and the aforementioned inadequacy and insecurity and that they had control of the public discourse which believed in the dominance of the warrior theory of power; that is based on conquest, that assumes power is not interactive, that those with power have a magical (well fear-based) control of others, of subordinates…
BIOLOGY AND BEYOND – a story-ish – The embryo transforming from female to male at about 3-5 weeks (because it’s not instant) weakens us males, so at birth there are more males born with lowered immunity, disabilities and still births. In tough environments this makes them more likely to die in childhood. Cultural and personal memory mean mothers and fathers spoil the boys by putting them on the pedestal, today called patriarchy. By the time they go through the life and death process of initiation (I know not all of them had failure equals death but you could definitely fail and not be eligible to be a man and allowed to marry) and the various physical conflicts of teen to early manhood there were a lot more women than men and so polygamy was the product of biological economics.
On top of this is the magic of sexual selection in evolution. When in primitive times two naked playmates are having simple fun when one starts bleeding, at first unnoticed, then she is taken away with (terrifying for boys and men) physical proof of her adulthood. If a boy or a man was bleeding from there something is seriously wrong and it would be v. painful (thus is born initiation ceremonies based on “menstrual envy” where to become a man you had to bleed from the genital taking it as apparently pain free as a women.
Meanwhile the boys have no physical moment that says “I am an adult”. He is taken and tortured by his most trusted models to prove his worthiness with the final test life-threatening. When his manhood is finally proved and he is allowed to marry (for most of history and prehistory until 20 years ago) he’ll never know if his children are his.
These stories varied from culture to culture based on different environments, with particular reference to where the toughness and unpredictable of the environment promoted, drove the inadequacy of men to more or less extremes which they projected onto women (with their participation which I know is confronting idea since it is a lot easier to have simple ideas of power that blame one group over another) and the whole culture to make what sociologists call “tight” (authoritarian) or “loose” (open) cultures – https://www.scientificamerican.com/…/tightness-and-loosene…/