Is This The End Of Patriarchy?
In this judge Roy Moore thing, in Harvey Weinstein, in Steven Seagal, Kevin Spacey, all these things, are we seeing the end of three thousand years of patriarchy?
This is a notion that was put into religious law 3,000 years ago, arguably longer than that - some believe the Bible was written 6,000 years ago - but a broad consensus is the Old Testament around 3,000, the New Testament around 2,000. And in that document essentially women were defined as the property of men - as chattel.
And this continued for literally all these thousands of years. In fact, I'm guessing you could have found this kind of thing in the Epic of Gilgamesh from 7,000 years ago.
Now, in tribal societies there are different roles for the two genders, and frankly in most tribal societies there's a role of great honor for people who are gay or trans, but there's not an absolute sense of this is the superior this is the inferior.
I wrote about this at some length in The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight and it's not new and it's not a secret.
The whole idea of patriarchy - the idea of defining women and girls as simply property - is deeply embedded in our culture. And it's thousands of years old and it has been one of the most destructive pieces of our culture ever.
In fact, I think that I could build a case that the reason the world is melting down, the reason we have conflicts all over the world, the reason we're having territorial wars, the reason we're having wars over water, the reason that we're having wars over resources, all of these things are the result - in my opinion - of the oppression of women.
Why is that? Wait a minute, how do you draw a straight line from that?
The number one way to control population is to empower women, which sounds very paternalistic and "oh yes, we men will give power to women". You know, women are just saying, "screw that, we're going to take our own power". And good on them.
And Roy Moore is the classic example of this. Now he's got some Alabama state official saying, "well, Mary, you know - Jesus's mother, she was a teenager". Really? This is the position you're going to take?
And yet the politicians down in Alabama are saying, "you know, this isn't going to matter, he's going to get elected," which is just bizarre beyond imagination.
But I think that we need to look at this in this larger context - and of course the narrower context as well. In fact, I get this sense that we are going through a major cultural shift right now, and one for the better.
And it's not just happening in the United States, by the way. The UK is having all kinds of problems around touchy feely in Parliament and whatnot. And this is just not unique to here.
I think that there's not only an awakening happening, and that of course women were already awoke about this and have been for 6,000 years, but the hope always was, that was presented by largely men, that other men would wake up and say, "you know, we really should have a 50:50 society. We should do like Norway and require half the parliament and half the executives and corporations to be female."
Just because life is better. This hyper-competitive, hyper-masculine, testosterone-driven zeitgeist - spirit of the times - this whole male-driven has brought us competitive capitalism in the worst forms.
I'm the first to actually defend highly-regulated capitalism because I think that there are some pieces of capitalism that work really well and we should keep them. But what we've got right now is a kleptocratic administration - the Trump administration and basically the Republican Party ever since the election of Ronald Reagan. And you could argue that it's the Republican Party going way, way back.
I've played clips of Harry Truman and FDR on the show before.
We celebrate domination, we celebrate competition, we celebrate individuality aka loneliness, we celebrate all these things and there are many sociologists and anthropologists who would suggest that those are traits that are typically male traits that have to do with testosterone.
And when you look at female traits that are associated with estrogen and some of the bonding hormones and things like that, what you find is cooperation, collaboration, mutual support, community first, the whole mother Earth idea.
This is so built into our culture. We pray to male gods, right? Well, why is it that to be divine you have to have a penis? I don't get it.
There was actually a time in Europe - Leonard Shlain wrote a book about this called The Alphabet Versus the Goddess - back between 700 and 1500 when the principle person being worshipped in churches in Europe was not Jesus, it wasn't God, it was Mary.
And those shrines to Mary after the 1600s or the late 1500s, they all got either torn down, changed or turned into Jesus memorials.
Shlain's theory was that if people learn to read before the age of five, their brains get rewired and they become basically patriarchal machines. So there's all kinds of pieces to this. There's the psychology, the sociology.
But the bottom line is that it's long been the time for men to back off. I'm celebrating this cultural moment. I think it's a really really good thing for the future.
I remember the Mad Men culture of the of the 50s and 60s and 70s. I'm glad it's gone.