Middle East And Patriarchy Essay

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¶ … Growth of Patriarchy in Ancient Societies Patriarchy is a term used to denote an ideological and social construct that deems the patriarchs (males) to be superior to females. In the patriarchal social system, men's role as principal authority figures forms a crucial element of social organization, with men holding authority over material assets, women, and children. This construct enforces femininity and masculinity trait stereotypes in communities, thus reinforcing unfair power relationships between males and females (Rawat 44). This essay will discuss the role of diverse ancient civilizations in developing correlation factors associated with patriarchy's growth.

In Walby's opinion, patriarchy comprises of six interdependent components that constitute the basis for exploitation, namely, the household, the State, violence perpetrated by males against females, paid employment, cultural institutions and sexuality (Walby 1-5). Walby's definition of a patriarchal household is the domestic environment in which the homemaker and her efforts towards smooth management of family affairs and needs are scorned, unappreciated and belittled. At the domestic level, the husband represents the expropriating party. Patriarchy in paid employment deals with employment environments where females are given worse jobs, or accorded lesser pay compared to male colleagues for the very same position. The state's role in fostering patriarchy revolves around its support of patriarchal, capitalist, and racist interests, by deliberately not intervening or reacting slowly to complaints of bias against females (Rawat 44).

The component of violence, a disturbing occurrence, refers to discrimination and abuse of females due to the misguided belief that females are inferior and need to be subdued before males. This attitude typically leads to female abuse, a malice that society systematically experiences and tolerates, with the state looking the other way when it hears of instances of domestic abuse. With respect to sexuality in patriarchal communities, heterosexuality is the norm and any other sexual inclination is viewed as a desecration of patriarchal values, thereby being punishable by society and the law. Patriarchal society defends female objectification, does not censure open male regard of females, and views females as instruments to gratify male desires. Finally, patriarchal relations within cultural institutions regulate female conduct in public, including dress code and
Female subordination in agrarian or kin-ordered societies was connected to the peasantry or kin group's
reproduction and division of work based on gender. For instance, childbearing essentially represents a female labor task. However, just as capitalist society doesn't regard a worker's fabricated goods as his property, patriarchal societies do not regard a female's 'products' (whether children or material goods) as her property. Rather, all her efforts become the patriarchal family's (particularly male relatives') property. A tendency towards male domination is innate in the relationship between pre-capitalist agrarian families and the government's and landlords' world, in reproducing kin-ordered groups. Classic patriarchal approaches demean women by regarding them as property of a sort. Their honor represents the family's honor, which is largely dependent on their comportment and virginity (Moghadam 141).

The development of class system in civilization, and the agrarian revolution, raised certain remarks of a world-historical overpowering of females. But this was withdrawn because of a narrative which argued that female subordination -- the development of patriarchy implemented by Near Eastern ancient legal standards -- facilitated state power and private property development there and everywhere else across the globe (Moghadam 141-142).


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Works Cited

Meyers, Carol L. "Was Ancient Israel a Patriarchal Society?" Journal of Biblical Literature 133.1 (2014): 8-27. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Moghadam, Valentine M. "Patriarchy in Transition: Women and The Changing Family in The Middle East." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 35.2 (2004): 137-162. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Rawat, Preeti S. "Patriarchal Beliefs, Women's Empowerment, And General Well-Being." Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision-Makers 39.2 (2014): 43-55. Business Source Complete. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Uberoi, Patricia. "The Family in India." Writing the women's movement: a reader. New Delhi: Zubaan (2005): 361-396.

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