The Creation of Patriarchy

Forside
Oxford University Press, 1986 - 318 sider
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When precisely did the ideas, symbols and metaphors of patriarchy take hold of Western civilization? When were women, so central to the creation of society, moved on to the sidelines? Where is the evidence to support the notion that male dominance over women is a natural state of things? Gerda Lerner's radical review of Western civilization shows that male dominance over women has nothing to do with biology, and everything to do with cultural and historical habits. Dr Lerner draws her evidence from a host of archaeological, literary, and artistic sources, using them to pinpoint the critical turning points in the allocation of women's roles in society. She draws especially on archaeological evidence of the cultures of ancient Hebrew and Mesopotamian societies, cultures from which modern Western civilization has largely derived. This approach enables her to trace the ways in which men and women have been classified as essentially separate creatures - from ancient Greek philosophy onwards - and also to examine ways in which their experience of society differs, through the structures and symbols of class and religion. Most of all, by showing patriarchy as the result of an historical process, Lerner produces an irresistable argument that it can be altered, and ended, by similar means. In The Creation of Feminist Consciousness, the eagerly awaited concluding volume of Women and History, Lerner documents the twelve-hundred-year struggle of women to free their minds from patriarchal thought, to create Women's History, and to achieve a feminist consciousness. In a richly documented narrative filled with inspiring portraits of women, Lerner ranges from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century, tracing several important ways by which women strove for autonomy and equality. One of the most remarkable sections examines over twelve hundred years of feminist Bible criticism. Since objections to women's thinking, teaching, and speaking in public were based on biblical authority--most notably, passages from Genesis and the writings of St. Paul--women returned again and again to these texts, in an attempt to subvert patriarchal dominance and establish their equality with men. This survey of biblical criticism allows Lerner to illustrate her most important insight--the discontinuity of women's history. She describes how women's history was not passed on from generation to generation, forcing women in effect to reinvent the wheel over and over again. In a series of fascinating portraits of individual women who resisted patriarchal indoctrination, Lerner discusses women mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich and later Protestant mystics, and brings to life the many women of great literary talent, from Christine de Pisan to Louise Labe to Emily Dickinson, who simply bypassed patriarchal thought and created alternate worlds for themselves.
 

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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 ... Les hele vurderingen

Innhold

Origins
15
A Working Hypothesis
36
The StandIn Wife and the Pawn
54
The Woman Slave
76
The Wife and the Concubine
101
Veiling the
123
The Goddesses
141
The Patriarchs
161
The Covenant
180
Symbols
199
The Creation of Patriarchy
212
Definitions
231
Notes
245
Bibliography
283
Index
305
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Om forfatteren (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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