Analysis Of Gerda Lerner's The Creation Of Patriarchy
850 Words4 Pages
Patriarchy is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a family, group, or government controlled by a man or a group of men". Gerda Lerner explores the idea of patriarchy and its origins in her work The Creation of Patriarchy. She argues that male dominance is not a natural occurrence, rather than man-made concept developing over the course of 2,500 years. Her work is based off of the idea that "women are the majority, yet we are structured into social institutions as though we are the minority" (Lerner 5). The ideas of male dominance are discussed by Lerner through various theories, men's control of a woman's sexuality, and their use of women for advances.
The idea that women are inferior to men is supported by many theories. Some of these theories…show more content… 19). These theories helped men to continuously exercise dominance over…show more content… Rape was a frighteningly common occurrence in ancient civilizations. Female prisoners of war were often raped and this accomplished two things. It not only dishonored the woman, but also served as a symbolic castration to men. This was seen as such because a man who was incapable of protecting the sexual purity of their wives, sisters, and children were seen as truly impotent and dishonored (para. 80). However, rape was not just common in prisoners of war, but also of free women. While there were "laws" regarding rape, they by no means protected a woman. For example, if a man rapes a woman who still resides in her father's house, he must pay the price of the virgin to her father and marry her, knowing that he can never divorce her (para. 116). Women were not seen as the injured party of a rape; instead, the father or husband was. If a virgin woman is raped, the robbing of her virginity "debases her value" (Lerner 117). Women were expected to be loyal to one man and one man only, while on the other hand, adultery was widely accepted in males, and their fidelity to one woman was not seen to be important. This transitions into the idea that women were simply to be used as political, economic, and social gains for men, as well as a means of