Feminism in a primitive society

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Feminism in a primitive society

#1  Postby Guadalupe » Oct 19, 2019 8:44 pm

I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#2  Postby aufbahrung » Oct 20, 2019 12:06 am

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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#3  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2019 12:27 am

Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.



Can you define a primitive society?
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#4  Postby scott1328 » Oct 20, 2019 1:41 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.



Can you define a primitive society?

Hill country of Arkansas?
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#5  Postby Ironclad » Oct 20, 2019 8:18 am

Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.
Surely, the same as it did in any other society. With resistance, a little violence here and there. Role segregation would have been more pronounced, matriarchs may have been less scary.
I imagine feminism would have been laughable to both sexes.
There's a link somewhere to a BBC video article about similar, including the arrival of the hijab in Akkadian (?) society.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#6  Postby Guadalupe » Oct 20, 2019 8:32 am

Ironclad wrote:
Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.
I imagine feminism would have been laughable to both sexes.


Could you elaborate? Also I'd be interested in finding that article.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#7  Postby Svartalf » Oct 20, 2019 8:38 am

I knew veiled women were a pre islamic custom grandfathered him by the prophet of misogyny, but that we would have evidence of it going back to the Akkadians? Count me in, I'm interested too.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#8  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2019 8:50 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.



Can you define a primitive society?



To me, there's clearly a rather large problem with the question posed unless the term 'primitive society' is being used in an unusual manner.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#9  Postby Guadalupe » Oct 20, 2019 8:54 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Guadalupe wrote:I'm doing a gender studies course and we've been asked to think about how feminism might have developed in a primitive society. I'd like to get some ideas to help me get me started.



Can you define a primitive society?


It wasn't defined exactly, but I'm happy to go with this definition : https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/so ... ve-society, although maybe we could also include modern periods before the rise of technology, infrastructure and so on.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#10  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2019 9:06 am

Well then, obviously no feminism could not arise in such a society.

Feminism is a political movement towards establishing economic, political, and social equality for women.

What is a political movement in a society that doesn't have any form of politics?

What is economic equality in a society which doesn't have unequal wealth distribution?

There's no gender pay gap in a primitive society because there's no pay. There's no women's rights to campaign for in a primitive society because there is no concept of rights in a primitive society. There's no universal suffrage in a primitive society when there's no elections or voting.

Could women have had better or worse lives in different primitive societies according to the culture and traditions of their people? Certainly. But the idea that any modern political doctrine could exist in a primitive society is a profoundly broken question.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#11  Postby Guadalupe » Oct 20, 2019 9:13 am

How about gender roles?
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#12  Postby Doubtdispelled » Oct 20, 2019 10:12 am

Spearthrower wrote:Well then, obviously no feminism could not arise in such a society.


I'm always confused by double negatives, ST. Did you mean "obviously no, feminism could not arise in such a society".
:lol:

Spearthrower wrote:Feminism is a political movement towards establishing economic, political, and social equality for women.


As a modern phenomenon, yes. That's what the term means nowadays. Which is why I think, Guadalupe, you might be better off looking for another term to describe what you are seeking to learn about, such as the rise of female empowerment, feminist thought, etc..

And I assume you are not talking about 'matriarchies', either. I don't know how old you are, but I guess you are aware that the very word 'feminism' unfortunately still raises the hackles of some males, who immediately fall into the trap of thinking that you are talking about a movement which seeks to disempower men so that women can 'lord it' over them.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#13  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2019 10:18 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Well then, obviously no feminism could not arise in such a society.


I'm always confused by double negatives, ST. Did you mean "obviously no, feminism could not arise in such a society".
:lol:


Yeah, my comma and apostrophe keys no longer seem to work consistently on my keyboard!


Doubtdispelled wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Feminism is a political movement towards establishing economic, political, and social equality for women.


As a modern phenomenon, yes. That's what the term means nowadays. Which is why I think, Guadalupe, you might be better off looking for another term to describe what you are seeking to learn about, such as the rise of female empowerment, feminist thought, etc..

And I assume you are not talking about 'matriarchies', either. I don't know how old you are, but I guess you are aware that the very word 'feminism' unfortunately still raises the hackles of some males, who immediately fall into the trap of thinking that you are talking about a movement which seeks to disempower men so that women can 'lord it' over them.


You ladies won't be satisfied with wearing the trousers... you'll be wanting testicles to scratch too!
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#14  Postby aban57 » Oct 20, 2019 10:23 am

Guadalupe wrote:How about gender roles?


Some "primitive societies" acknowledge more than 2 gender roles, like Native Americans, who have 5, if my memories are correct. Understanding how they reached that conclusion might help answer your question.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#15  Postby Doubtdispelled » Oct 20, 2019 10:29 am

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151457/

Theory of Feminism and Tribal Women: An Empirical Study of Koraput

Concluding Remarks

The tribal society of Koraput presents a picture of a stable, tolerant, gender-cooperative, gender-nondiscriminatory, and humane society. They follow and practice the principles of feminism spontaneously. The practice of these principles is quite indigenous and has been a matter of evolution for them. This has been possible in these tribal communities due to the approximate equality (on economic terms) of tribal females with their male members. The other reason that might have contributed to this is that, tribal society here is a closed society having a primitive life style and attitude. It remains far away from the developments achieved by the modern world. Despite their backwardness, however, on one count, i.e., their attitude toward their women folk, they are found to be much ahead of the non-hill people. They are natural feminists.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#16  Postby Doubtdispelled » Oct 20, 2019 10:36 am

And then there's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protofeminism


an article which points out that:

Medieval Europe

Here the dominant view of women was that they were intellectually and morally weaker than men, having been tainted by Eve's original sin according to the biblical tradition. This was used to justify many restrictions placed on women, such as not being allowed to own property, or their obligation to obey fathers or husbands at all times. But this view and restrictions derived from it raised objections even in medieval times. Medieval protofeminists recognized as important to the development of feminism include Marie de France, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bettisia Gozzadini, Nicola de la Haye, Christine de Pizan, Jadwiga of Poland, Laura Cereta, and La Malinche.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#17  Postby Doubtdispelled » Oct 20, 2019 10:39 am

Spearthrower wrote:
You ladies won't be satisfied with wearing the trousers... you'll be wanting testicles to scratch too!


Don't need 'em, ST. You have enough for both of us. :P
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#18  Postby I'm With Stupid » Oct 20, 2019 10:46 am

I think it was an interview with Margaret Atwood the other day where she said that research suggests that tribal societies tend to be more equal between men and women. I'm not sure how true that is, but she's definitely a writer known for her high levels of research. I guess the less organised and therefore less powerful a society, they less scope there is to control women's lives in the way that we see in some of the more misogynist societies in the world. Basically in these societies, the patriarchy is going to be weaker, therefore the need for a highly organised feminism will be less, which isn't to say that there aren't obvious gender divides. But perhaps small-scale tribal societies are communities in which exploitation and subjugation of any members of the group is less common out of necessity. You're probably not going to survive long if you have less than 100 people and you don't include everyone on a vaguely equal footing.

Having said that, you have to be careful about the romanticising of tribal communities, because it's happened a lot in the past on all sorts of issues. When I watch a documentary about tribal groups, I rarely see any examples without clearly defined gender roles, and I wonder how many of them would, for example, allow a woman to join a hunting party or feel about a man who wanted to stay behind and do the sorts of things that the women more commonly do.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#19  Postby Ironclad » Oct 20, 2019 10:47 am

Guadalupe wrote:How about gender roles?
I hope gender roles aren't seen as bad, in your class.
Let's make the assumption that we're viewing spear and tundra society. Hunters of value would be those with the most explosive muscular build and dexterity, and who's deaths would little impact the group. That would be young adult men, and experienced older men.
Women are too valuable to the group, to lose on an extensive and dangerous hunt. And possibly too slow. IIRC, women have slower, smaller hearts. They live longer and can perform more work for less energy. Tasks requiring attention to detail and repetition may have fallen to them. Weaving, tanning, grain beating etc.
I can't imagine patriarchy created hero and heroine roles like these, they just suited some humans (genders) better than others. Seasons may have changed the gender role landscape too, and the arrival of animal husbandry could well have been a female invention (why hunt when one can farm!).. though I have no evidence to quote, just a thought.
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Re: Feminism in a primitive society

#20  Postby Thommo » Oct 20, 2019 10:52 am

Tribal societies vary enormously don't they? I seem to recall watching a number of documentaries featuring Amazon tribes of varying types and level of economic integration with mainstream civilisation over the years and in most cases they seem to have, at the least, a division of labour into "men's work" and "women's work".
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