Patriarchies: women's oppression in global perspective

patriarchies: a global view of women's oppression

The subject of systemic male supremacy is vast, complex, and often starkly brutal. It interlocks with other systems of domination: slavery, class, caste. Naming it means confronting fear, denial, challenge, and danger: it is the unspeakable, even now. But naming sparks awareness, and understanding is where change begins.

perseus kills medusaThis presentation examines the forms that male domination has taken across many societies and historical periods. Male privilege, female subordination, and the sexual double standard. Legal and religious codes of obedience. Virginity, fidelity, and female punishments. Marriage, and servile marriage. Polygyny. Battering. Divorce. Patrilineage. Property inheritance. Boy-preference, female infanticide. Bastardy. Abduction. Rape. Female captives. Slavery. Concubinage. Prostitution. Persecution of widows. Female confinement. Silencing. Resistance.

In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be allowed to enjoy her own will.

---Manusmrti, India, circa 7th century BCE

It does not belong to a woman to determine anything for herself, but she is subject to the rule of Three Obediences: when young she must obey her father, when married she must obey her husband, when a widow she has to obey her son. --Kung Fu Tze (Confucius) China

Our fathers have willed that women should be in the power of their fathers, of their brothers, of their husbands. -- Roman senator Cato, Italy, 195 BCE

A visual presentation by Max Dashu

90 minutes, with more time for discussion.
Requires digital projector, screen, mic.

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