When does sex/gender actually matter?

I was watching "Round Planet," the bastard child of the deservedly famous "Planet Earth" series, and has question come to mind. Why is it that males often take on superior social positions to females, not only in the animal kingdom but in human cultures?

I'm not entirely illiterate - so far my understanding is that property rights (originating in the development of cattle herds) could only be truly passed/preserved through the male line, as women were possessed by a single male and thereafter all offspring were guaranteed to be his own (as opposed to earlier modes of organization, wherein it was unclear who the father was). Related to the position of men in society is the concept that Engels discusses in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, which sees that men generally looked after external societal affairs (hunting, warfare, trading?, etc.) while women managed internal matters (most notably child bearing, but in addition household management among other things).

However, I'd still like to clarify some of the more mundane aspects. Recently, I heard in an anthropology course that property (including herds, around the advent of pastoralism) sometimes descended through the female line. Why is it that, with civilization proper, men became the dominant gender/sex? It seems that there was some "wiggle" room beforehand as to how property was transferred - how/why did it become a practically universally male dominated affair with civilization?

I ask this as a marxist. I'm not some fucking liberal gender obsessed moron, just mildly drunk with some thoughts/questions.

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Men made women and their children their own property through their knowledge of breeding (similar to how cattle and other animals can be bred for specific characteristics, we can institutionalize monogamy and then there will be a guarantee of fatherhood, thus breaking matrilineality in favor of a male line), but fundamentally thanks to their monopoly on physical force, a result from their biologically inherent strength over women. Later this oppression over women would be justified through all sorts of constitutions and religious texts.

I'm no anthropology nerd. Maybe you are looking too much for a complex answer, so you overlook a simple one: Men tend to be stronger than women. Maybe the few examples of societies throughout human history with women in the dominant role have an institutional pattern where men are more atomized or at least organized in smaller groups than the women. A dozen average women together can beat up any individual.

ah, okay. This is something I leaned towards, but wasn't quite sure how to put. Essentially, an example of the base-superstructure dialectic in a way (man use raw strength to subdue woman, this practice made ideologically justified, man no longer needs to use force to ensure his social gender position or what have you, etc)

This just raises the question though in my mind as to how these groups of women (or their solidarity, if I could call it that, in recognizing their common plight against males who should like to dominate them) lost power. Though at least I'm starting to get a better conception of this transition, or at least be comfortable just admitting to myself that men are flat-out stronger, no questions asked, and that has a role to play.

Probably around the time where populations became sizeable enough to survive even when women weren't constantly protected and taken care of. Focus shifted from female fertility as the spring of life. Onto to male strength, which was more useful when conquering other territories. The patriarchal societies managed to take control and establish their ideology amongst those who were still matriarchal.

Are you retarded user? Females are bigger in reptiles.

lern 2 read. I said often, not "always as a rule males are dominant." Besides, human beings aren't reptiles (besides Hillary). I was pointing out that in what seems to be the majority of mammals, the males are the dominant sex, and as others have pointed out, this is in part due to their greater size/strength relative to females.
Obviously the line isn't clear cut between all mammal species. But yeah, I could give a fuck how big some lizards are, Im here to better understand human social organization dammit



The basic answer is no it doesn't matter dipshit, the genders and sexes are equal, having any doubt about this is stupid, discussion of it in the form of debate instead of reflection is foolish.

I would argue the position of carrying a child to term through birth is one that limits and in some cases prevents acts such as hunting, tending crops and livestock, harvesting, operating a plow, smithing and forging metal, brick laying, military duty etc.

There are numerous examples of matrimonial or matriarchal societies, so what do you mean by "civilization?"

I mean that pretty much every city, and eventually empire, seemed to be ruled by a man. Of course there are some examples of female rulers, but they're far more disparate.

I'm note even trying to debate, just understand what was going on in history. It's pretty clear that there are some innate biological differences, such as the fact that human males aren't fucking seahorses and women carried children.

true, though only while they were with a child. There are examples of women participating in warfare, diplomacy, and other "masculine" activities (if i can call them that). At least, before some time in history - at some point, women were more firmly held back from these things. Maybe it has to do with the division of labor coming into being?

That's a vast oversimplification of over 40,000 years of human history.

Maybe? There are innumerable different cultures and gender-related political orientations over a tremendous period of time. Sometimes women dominated and sometimes men, for different reasons. The way you've framed this question is asking for a singular generalized answer to multiple complex historical processes.

Because they believe in spooks n shit

I see my ignorance - do you have any recommended readings?

Page 29 and 30
mother of the child it placed its natural and attested father, with a better warrant of paternity,
probably, than that of many a “father” today. According to the division of labor within the family
at that time, it was the man’s part to obtain food and the instruments of labor necessary for the
purpose. He therefore also owned the instruments of labor, and in the event of husband and wife
separating, he took them with him, just as she retained her household goods. Therefore, according
to the social custom of the time, the man was also the owner of the new source of subsistence, the
cattle, and later of the new instruments of labor, the slaves. But according to the custom of the
same society, his children could not inherit from him. For as regards inheritance, the position was
as follows:
female line – and according to the original custom of inheritance within the gens, the gentile
relatives inherited from a deceased fellow member of their gens. His property had to remain
within the gens. His effects being insignificant, they probably always passed in practice to his
nearest gentile relations – that is, to his blood relations on the mother's side. The children of the
dead man, however, did not belong to his gens, but to that of their mother; it was from her that
they inherited, at first conjointly with her other blood relations, later perhaps with rights of
priority; they could not inherit from their father, because they did not belong to his gens, within
which his property had to remain. When the owner of the herds died, therefore, his herds would
go first to his brothers and sisters and to his sister’s children, or to the issue of his mother’s
sisters. But his own children were disinherited.
more important than the woman’s, and on the other hand created an impulse to exploit this
strengthened position in order to overthrow, in favor of his children, the traditional order of
inheritance. This, however, was impossible so long as descent was reckoned according to motherright.
Mother-right, therefore, had to be overthrown, and overthrown it was.

tl;dr: private property and division of labor

I hope I didn't misunderstand the question, but this is interesting nonetheless



I learned in a college course Ancient Minoa was a complete matriarchy. All of their art depicts women as rulers and never men.

That's interesting. What era did they exist? Thinking about Graeber's debt book, he does an interesting genealogy of patriarchy (in the literal sense of the term) through Babylon, where are the Minoans in relation to Ancient Babylon?

Patriarchy rather than matriarchy is the more common because for most of history childbirth was dangerous as shit for women (due to our big fucking heads) and passing down wealth through a female line carried an inherent risk. Patriarchal culture would be more stable simply because father survived mothers so much more often. You can't replace the head of the family (until an heir is born), but you can replace their spouses. There are other factors involved but survival rates are the biggest one and the one that most directly shapes any organism, either biologically or socially.

When Engles getting into Fouriers orgy theory causes your daughter to kill herself.

Never. Nothing we do matters.

Fucking neck yourself.

Fuck your spooks you idealist cunt. Anyone who is receptive to a material understanding of reality is going to make more rational and effective decisions.

Human females can't survive on their own if they get pregnant. But males can.

tbh, never except in the case of purely biological things like men being stronger or women having babies.
Class and shit don't matter what sex u are.

men ('cis'-heterosexual) have long inherited social leadership in society from their base-biological one, but the social nature of human society lets it change that however it sees fit IF it is viable within the confines of a mode of production. a society without property, without value, without arbitration/a state, etc. (socialism) could easily be structured to be entirely gender-egalitarian, or even (socially) abolish the notion of gender wholly, but this leap must first be made. it is absolutely retarded, as marx and engels themselves showed, to say that sex/gender roles are superfluous to modes of production in which they are relevant. for example, capitalism has for most of its existence relied almost entirely on the (unpaid) labour of women in the household to even make the paid male labour-power in the workplace workable for capital, which is why, reflected socially, capital took on a very patriarchal institutional form. but as productive efficiency has increased, and civil rights movements have managed to find viable configurations for capital in which the woman can be separate from the man, this is no longer as much the case (we may say that modern capitalist society is still patriarchal in certain respects, but it is waning). in fact, this is something that marx and engels also already said (alongside theorising the importance of patriarchy still, as they saw it): patriarchy was already starting to be a waning phenomenon now that it was situated outside of the feudal mode of production and it worked differently.


I think it comes down to social interaction really, even with other mammals like dogs a chihuahua can "dominate" a larger german shephard by having enough cockyness. yeah if the big dog doesn't want to yield it'd kill the smaller one no problem, but it wouldn't want to bother the risk of getting hurt over stupid shit. It the same way I could easily kill my female boss if she denies my a raise but it wouldn't be worth the social ramifications of rotting in prison. Even if there was no law, chances are she'd have a male relative bigger and stronger than I am that I'd want to avoid confrontation with.

I'd wager a trained fighter could kick a dozen average women's asses quite handedly if given enough time to prepare and not ambushed. Pic related.