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.


Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Wow, what insight! Thank you, Thom, for explaining the past six thousand years of hunman evolution in terms of the "me too" movement. I believe that there are alternative realities. How about this one: Women have ALWAYS held the upper hand. They just let us testosterone driven slobs THINK we have the upper hand. Sure, there are abuses, but they cut both ways. I think you're making this way too simple.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 29 weeks ago


I certainly hope it is the demise and end of patriarchy

I state that historically, man has been in fear of "the blood" creating some sort of superstition surrounding this monthly event

jealous of a womans' beauty and power to attract the best looking man

Crotch grabbing and tit groping need to end

Women are indeed the better part of humanity

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 5 years 29 weeks ago

I agree with you Outback. The reaction by some women has been over the top and disgraceful. Instead of rejoicing in a world where we are co-equals, it seems many just want to take their revenge out on every person who is male and make us culpable for the evil of these creeps like the Weinsteins and Cosbys. They are putting all men into their category and I think it's unfair. Yes, women have been victimized, but it's more by our culture.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 5 years 29 weeks ago

I'd be MORE worried about the "tax" bill they are pushing though the house now! Were screwed..

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 29 weeks ago

Why do "creeps" like Trump and Roy Moore get a pass on rape by their supporters? After Crooked Donny openly admitted to sexual assault, not to mention raping his own wife, how can we doubt the rape of a 13 year old at Jeff Epstein's place in 1994? This is just as credible as all the other charges flying around these days. I believe Jane Doe, and figure she probably got a large sum of money to make it all go away during Trump's crooked campaign.

Roy Moore was such a 30 some year old creep, he got kicked out of his local mall for stalking female kids. Yes, 14 to16 year old girls are kids.

How many women came forward with sex assault allegations against Trump, 16, or more???? Yet many women still voted for him which means they also voted against there own sex.

Oh I forgot, Dems never go on offense! Ok, lets talk about Clinton's consensual blow job with another adult.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 29 weeks ago

Riverplunge is correct, we should be talking about the massive tax break for Fascists.

I'll do it.....The ACA is under attack again via the Senate attaching partial repeal of it to their piece of crap anti-american legislation.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 5 years 29 weeks ago

OMG....Is this really where we are headed, polarization, idenity politics, etc. Progressives continually argue for us to be like Norway....HOMOGENEOUS SOCIETY for the most part. and VERY SMALL. We are 300 million strong and diverse. Humans are just at the apex of evolution. Our DNA is still Cave Dweller strong. I love this "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" Maybe the medicine man was performing transgender surgery????

Enough already, what a waste of mental energy. Men and Women are different but both are human. SCUM exists because they are also Human, Fucked up Human, but still animals, mamals! I would worry when Dolpin argue for the right to vote....

I am so amazed at how dumb society is becoming. Universities are peppered with marxists who have brought us to idenity politics and made both women and men humans who live by excuses for their lack of personal responibility. Know one makes Clinton, Trump, Weinstein, Wiener, etc. make choices that are cruel and degrading to their female human equals. But if you are a Republican, you suck, Democrats get a pass for awhile. The USA will go the way of Rome and all other great societies. The Government will eventually turn on it's own and all will perish. Mother Nature and the Universe will survive. As Humans, we are doomed. Glad I will be gone when it all starts to really decay. This is very depressing. I think the USA should break up into small countries of cupcakes and softies. Living on nuts and weeds. I will be watching from the next life.

Best of luck to all you nut cases.

Juantarde's picture
Juantarde 5 years 29 weeks ago

Sweet Jebus! You should realize that you are the only nut case in this conversation.
Are you just visiting from Breitbart or InfoWars? Either that or you're one of those 'both parties are the same' paranoids... probably a libertarian.

We are already polarized and identity politics is in full swing. Try to keep up.
Adopting certain elements from highly successful countries like Norwegia would NOT suddenly throw us into a homogenous crisis. We probably wouldn't even have to all wear the same state approved jumpsuits... at least not the same colors. Capitalism will not disappear. Your fears are unfounded.

That tired talking point about subversives rotting the minds of students is complete nonsense. Truth does have a Liberal bias though. Maybe that bothers you. You don't really make a case for anything. You're just rambling. You should go live in the mountains and create a perfect society.

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

This page just gets worse and worse. If you want to post nonsense go to Yahoo "COMMENTS". If you are a Fox nut go to Fox News comments. Or tell me were your regually post so that I can avoid it.

gmiklashek950's picture
gmiklashek950 5 years 29 weeks ago

Thoughtful, Thom. Have you read Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone, or the Goddess literature? I've studied this transitioon from what was certainly a matriarchal pimordial human condition to "patriarchy", as a result of having collected the largest collection of Ice-age "Venus" figurines in private hands. 400 of these carved female sculptures are known, but only a small number are carved from stone and intact. The most famous is the well dated Venus of Willendorf, located in her own classical wooden temple in the Austrian Natural History Museum in Vienna. No men have been found. They are all fecund females and of a type, dated from 40-15 thousand years old. Many Native American tribes were and are matriarchal, including the much studied Iroquois. When we think about it, who was left to protect the home camp of ancestral hunter-gatherer clans when the men were out hunting or protecting borders? The women were forced by circumstance to band together to defend the camp from predators or interlopers, "keep the home fire burning", raise the helpless children, care for the elderly, etc. Thus, they spent time talking and planning, which was critical to the survival of the clan. Furthermore, the human voice, as well as the fire, kept the plentiful prey animals at bay, as they would otherwise have over-run the site and had our ancestor's children for lunch. As a result of this ecological necessity women banded together and were the brains of the clan, aside from their craft and cooking contributions which continue to this day. Thus, women were honored with the earliest human portable art: the Venus figurines. Gimbutas believed, as a result of her extensive archaeological digs in the Balkans and Greece, that men in the Eurasian Plain domesticated the wild horse and gained ascendency over women, whence they rode into peaceful, matriarchal old Europe and took control, establishing our current tradition of Patriarchy. This is the story I have come to believe from my pretty extensive researches on the subject. Patriarchy demands separation of women and domination of women, which was not their experience in prehistory or in many hunter-gatherer clans today. Necessity is the Mother of invention, and explains the matriarchy to patriarchy shift that Gimbutas dates at about 2,500 BC, thanks to the Kurgan (Keurgane?) warriors from the Steppes. Thanks for your insights!

geohorse's picture
geohorse 5 years 29 weeks ago

Remember the tribal member in "Little Big Man" who rode his horse backwards among many other behavioural quirks? Certainly wasn't ostracized--and this was in the '70's.

Wet Willie's picture
Wet Willie 5 years 29 weeks ago

Patriarchy's brought us to The Brink.

Not at all sad to see it die, along with its ugly 1st cousin, racism.

Perhaps we can get along with Living -- healing this Planet, ourselves ... after all.....

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 29 weeks ago

Sit tight. I am sure Thoms entire show Friday will be about the nasty antics of Senator Al Franken and his homophobic and misogynistic antics leading up to his rise from Stuart Smally to angry Senator from Minnesota.

Will Thom call for his resignation?

Dale Kearney's picture
Dale Kearney 5 years 16 weeks ago

I don't think that a forced 50/50 split is the right way to do things but I certainly think that there should be equal opportunity. Sometimes men are just a better fit for certain jobs and likewise women are better suited for others. There is a big difference between equality and equity.

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