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Old 07-19-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
 
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Default Why did it took so long for women to challenge patriarchy?

It's been on my mind for a long time. Women are the majority population but it wasn't till the 19th century that women began to work together against their oppression by patriarchy, why? And why is it still in many cultures that women still don't fight against patriarchy? Which other group in history whose ratio was small against the dominant group managed to be dominated for so long? Anyone have an answer as to why women have been and continue to be so docile in the face of oppression.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
 
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Divide and conquer. Oppression. Brainwashing. Fear. Poverty. Fear of poverty. Children. It's difficult to rise against an oppressor, especially if each individual oppressor isn't so bad as they are as a whole. Men aren't our enemy, it's male dominance of society that is the enemy.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:30 PM   #3
 
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Good point, RCW. I'd also point out that there probably were mini-battles before the 19th Century that were fought for women's rights, but we might be unaware of that part of history. I'm speculating, of course.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
 
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My answer is: I don't know.

My best guess is, it's so deeply entrenched. Or something to do with testosterone.

I would love to read more about this, if anyone has articles, etc.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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I think there were earlier uprisings of women but perhaps it was only men writing the history books for a long, long time???
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
 
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It's 'cause the men wouldn't let them.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:01 PM   #7
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I think that preventing women from full participation in society was key. If you can't read, can't own anything, etc...you can't organize in large groups - which is really what's needed to "rise up" against an oppressor or oppressive practices.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:25 PM   #8
 
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I think you also have to consider the role of religion in society. All of the "big 3" religions are female-oppressive. They were designed to be that way, and they still are to this day. Women cannot hold equal positions of power in any of the major modern religions. Women have made a lot of progress in the last century, but we have a long, long way to go... and since so many women still follow these religions, women as a whole can't possibly hope to be free of oppression, in any country or society, as long as they are participating in these religions.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:41 AM   #9
 
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I think the 19th century just provided a culmination of factors such as wider access to education for women, the emancipation movement and later granting suffrage to black males, a more progressive attitude in general with industrialization, and the move even further towards an individualistic society.

Women gathering in groups to support emancipation for the slaves began to question why they weren't seeking it for themselves. Also when the men went off to war it was up to the women to run the homes and businesses. The boom of the woolen industry in New England employed women outside the home and outside of traditional "women's work." In a warrior society it was expected for the men to go off to war as needed and the women to run the home but particularly in America the nation hadn't engaged in full-scale warfare since the Revolution. Those women were testing their teachings against their experience and coming up short.

It's also very hard in cultures where the emphasis is on the group to stand up against that group. It takes great courage to risk being an outcast.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
 
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I agree with all the reasons already given and think that it's a complex issue. I think the predominant factor has to be child rearing.

I do think increased technology has played a part though - making lives easier in general and blurring the lines more between traditional male and female roles.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild~hair View Post
My answer is: I don't know.

My best guess is, it's so deeply entrenched. Or something to do with testosterone.

I would love to read more about this, if anyone has articles, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speckla View Post
I think there were earlier uprisings of women but perhaps it was only men writing the history books for a long, long time???
I'm late to this thread, but if anybody's interested, I have a few book recommendations. My recommendations are all about U.S. history because that's what I study, but I would love to learn more about women in other parts of the world, too.

US History as Women's History (edited by Linda Kerber) is a collection of essays by historians that looks at the ways that gender infuses and shapes the history of the United States.

No Constitutional Right to be Ladies (by Linda Kerber) looks at how courageous American women from the 19th century to the 1990s challenged legal restrictions on women's political rights.

-Actually, anything else by Linda Kerber. She's a very influential and well respected women's historian, but her writing style is much more accessible and less densely academic than a lot of other historians.

-Beyond the Double Bind (by Kathleen Hall Jamieson) looks at the historical/traditional stereotypes that women who seek positions of political and business leadership face. It has a modern focus, but is rich in history, too.

-The World Split Open (by Ruth Rosen) focuses on the women's rights movement of the 1960s-1970s.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:11 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Divide and conquer. Oppression. Brainwashing. Fear. Poverty. Fear of poverty. Children. It's difficult to rise against an oppressor, especially if each individual oppressor isn't so bad as they are as a whole. Men aren't our enemy, it's male dominance of society that is the enemy.
I think the first part of your statement could apply to any oppressed groups yet other groups have risen up against oppression from the get go. I agree with the latter part of your statement though but why have women colluded with oppressing each other?

@ Boomygrrl and Speckla ; I am sure there were a few mini uprising but that doesn't explain why nothing major occurred till recently. Its mind boggling how a group of people can deny themselves rights for so long when they have the ability to change it as they are the majority.

Quote:
I think the 19th century just provided a culmination of factors such as wider access to education for women, the emancipation movement and later granting suffrage to black males, a more progressive attitude in general with industrialization, and the move even further towards an individualistic society.

Women gathering in groups to support emancipation for the slaves began to question why they weren't seeking it for themselves. Also when the men went off to war it was up to the women to run the homes and businesses. The boom of the woolen industry in New England employed women outside the home and outside of traditional "women's work." In a warrior society it was expected for the men to go off to war as needed and the women to run the home but particularly in America the nation hadn't engaged in full-scale warfare since the Revolution. Those women were testing their teachings against their experience and coming up short.

It's also very hard in cultures where the emphasis is on the group to stand up against that group. It takes great courage to risk being an outcast.
I agree with the last statement you made, that comes the closest IMO to solving this riddle. Women are group driven whilst men are more leadership driven, whilst societies as a whole tend to emphasise group cohesion. Women put women that stand out down whilst men worship men that stand out, and hate women that don't act servile towards them (generally speaking).
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #13
 
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If you're the defense attorney for a rape case, you want as many of the jurors as possible to be politically conservative women. That is the group most likely to disbelieve an alleged rape victim.

Women can't quite be part of the patriarchy, no matter how rich or white or straight or able-bodied they are. But they sure can enforce the patriarchy, and have huge incentives to do so.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:35 PM   #14
 
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I think a big reason is that it is very hard to even conceive of a situation as being us vs. them when you are living with them, sleeping with them, raising children with them and in love with them. That kind of relationship is unique to the genders, and not the case for any kind of ethnic minority.

Because men and women have that kind of intimate relationship it makes it easier for the representatives of the patriarchy to paint feminists with such an ugly brush. They say feminists are _____ (fill in the blank with an ugly stereotype). If you as a woman have an emotional investment in the way a man perceives you, you don't want him to see you as that ugly stereotype, so you distance yourself from feminism. You see that dynamic at play in other types of oppression (like the whole "good hair" and light skin being desirable among blacks because it is the most acceptable to whites) but nowhere near the same degree because as a whole, men and women are much more interrelated than blacks and whites.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #15
 
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Well just because it hasn't been reported doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Also to go along with what a lot of others have stated here's a great Steve Biko quote.

"The greatest tool in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed."

You will find in any situation where there is a society that oppresses a particular group or groups, that there is a society that is based on the MENTAL oppression of the group.

The fact in many cultures you are portrayed as "bad" if your skin is dark and Beautiful and good if your skin is light. It gets so bad that you believe that this is true.

Religion also. If you teach people that there is a higher force, power, or being that created you as inferior, you believe that you are to be humble and inferior. Religion plays a huge role in gender and ethnic oppression.

Also let's not forget that men are also victims of patriarchy. That us women have also perpetuated. Look at the images of a "strong" male in the media. How many men actually live up to that? Now all this pressure to live up to a certain standard that is fictional creates a drive to want to feel that power and dominance that men feel the need to enact on women. Now how many women depend on men to do so much for them? We expect that Alpha Male to come in.

We are all victims of this patriarchal society. Just like we are all victims of racism. And the only way to change any of it is with self awareness and consciousness. How many of us from being on this site have learned to accept and care for our natural curly hair? I'd say the majority of us. And a lot of us from so many different cultures had to go through so many processes and transitions just to learn how to care for something our body produces naturally. Well the same goes for anything else. It's the realizing and learning that we are women and we have needs, wants, desires, ambitions, skills, emotions, and logic. How many years did it take for women to even get to THAT realization?

Last edited by Cali Chik; 01-23-2010 at 08:48 PM. Reason: added extra info
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