Evolution of Patriarchy and Matriarchy in Ancient Civilizations

2620 Words Oct 31st, 2010 11 Pages
The Evolution of Matriarchy to Patriarchy

Patriarchy is defined as “a system in which men largely control women and children and also shape ideas about appropriate gender behavior.” Throughout history, climate change brought on changes throughout all developing civilizations and societies, most importantly in agriculture. The development of agriculture led to the formation of complex societies, the idea of surplus, population growth, and new technologies. As these effects of agriculture became more prominent in growing societies, women were unable to participate in some of the economic and agricultural activities due to their biological purpose – reproduction. The new working environments were unsuitable for children, which caused women
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“All of these societies gave women considerable influence within a matrilineal culture, even if men usually had the decision making power.” During these societies, it can be said that the “Golden Age of Matriarchy”4 occurred during this period of time where simple farming and hunting and gathering was a major role. All of the societies that engaged in simple farming and hunting and gathering had more powerful and authoritative roles in society because they were not fully focused on reproduction. Instead, these societies wanted to limit their population due to inefficient amounts of resources. As climate change took over in Mesopotamia such as extreme flooding of the Nile River in Egypt and the growing problem of desertification, societies could no longer rely on hunting and gathering. These methods were no longer producing the amount of food needed to support the steadily growing civilizations. Farming techniques were introduced which caused societies to develop new and complex ways for food production such as irrigation, horticulture, and shifting cultivation. “Food production and urbanization led to the formation of states: formal political organization.” The change from simple farming to complex farming made it harder for women to participate because of reproduction. Since the society was growing so rapidly, there came a need for more people in the society with all of the jobs created. The role of women became primarily focused on reproduction, which created a