Manual labor became women’s fate.
Working hard is rather an acquired habit than a natural tendency of people; and women seemed to adopt enthusiastically “steady job” mentality without rejections and questioning. The busy bee, the builder-beaver, the ant – she was never lazy. At the dawn of capitalism, industrial revolution and technological progress people knew that labor was natural state to a man and the main question was how to give men enough work (you probably thinking). No. The original problem was how to make men work.
Indeed, primitive man had strenuous and often dangerous activities “A man hunts, spears fish, fights and sits about yarning; the rest is woman’s work”. The women cooked and prepared the food, did most of the gardening, speared the fish, made clothing, baskets and mats.” One anthropologist was studying primitive people of Central Africa, “The work is done mostly by the women. They dig the fields, sow the seed and collected the harvest. They build the houses, grind the corn, brew the beer, cook, wash and care for all the material interests of the community. The men tend the cattle, hunt and go to war; they also do the tailoring, and spend much time sitting in council over the conduct of affairs.”
All the essential processes of peaceful industry that brought comfort from the primitive home toward social well-being, were initiated by women in the dim past. The other scientist describes the Northern American Indians: theprimitive woman as the first cutler, butcher, currier, tanner, tailor, dressmaker, milliner, hatter, toymaker, upholsterer, cook, spinner, weaver, sail-maker, decorative artist, inventing all future art. And men were described with irony: ” Bowed with the weight of centuries he leans upon his hoe, and gazes on the ground; The emptiness of ages in his face. And on his back the burden of the world.” – Otis T. Mason, Woman’s Share in Primitive Culture. And we all hear about man‘s power of achievement that advanced civilization.
Motherhood was an asset, not liability.
The reason that women were so useful for labor was obvious. She was taking care of the infant at home. Every child could learn discipline and the importance of work under woman’s supervision. For some reason, I see the mother with kids as essential elements of the earliest organization with the men always absent taking care of his man‘s business… The motherhood was important social asset. That is right! Therefore, woman long before man received the training of offspring and the permanent position with no promotion – director of labor. Moreover, as we know in primitive society all women are married, and those who can are required to have children.
Woman, as a human being of the mother-sex, found her job already waiting for her when she was born. Woman has never had at her disposal those convenient stories which have served man as ways of escaping arduous labor, and as means for seeking better opportunities. To sum up, a woman from the primitive mother to the modern housewife, has rarely had a chance to go fishing at housekeeping and babysitting time, never had “urgent business down-town” she needs to take care of…
She was forging for food to feed her kids when men were at war offspring and feed them before; she was building nests and taking care of the helpless and her own child; was getting the education, in order to train her little ones for independent life. Primitive woman had acquired the tendency toward unselfish service which built the family, and later the State – modern government. Unselfish service the primitive woman introduced to humanity the principle of “mutual aid”.
“Mother-right”and honor of women were imbedded in social fabric. The family rule of law in the form of tradition antedated political and legal institution, the primitive woman had precedence and power.
While women were out and about doing her daily tasks, the society was getting used to peaceful way of living, man was accomplishing great things too. His special tasks of fighting and hunting, his habit of moving forward and “talking over affairs” helped him to maintain his great muscular development (which he got from early days of homo, when they were fighting for survival with every other predator). During this time his rational thinking was slowly replacing his primitive instincts to kill. War, the early man’s monopoly, has always stimulated innovation. Have you noticed?
How we transitioned from primitive tribe to civilization?
To recap, humans were facing the nature with their bare hands and teeth at the beginning fighting for survival. And then men used their brain to invent different tools to build shelters, to hunt and to protect themselves. Consecutively, the war was used as the way to supercharge their brain power and come up with even better future. Particular quality of the man is that he always made his brain serve his desires. And the desire of every man was to end the labour and become managers, CEOs, doctors, judges.
Men were terrified of tedious, repetitive and consuming labor which was prerogative of women, as we learned. So they made everything possible not be stuck in routine labor for long. That is why they were constantly coming up with technological replacements for humans to set themselves (first of all) free. That was their evolutionary dream, perhaps, since the beginning of times… I think, we are slowly achieving the dream of MANkind… And the man part is definitive, because I am a woman, I know myself and my aptitude and motivation is to help everyone in need, be generous with everyone and not to expect anything in return.
In peaceful times he misses the war…
So, the war and the fight for survival were necessary for innovation?.. It is like dual nature of life – good is a part of bad, and bad is necessary for good to occur. Like the Bible says: someone who did not know suffering, would not be able to know the joy. Something like that…
Man was a producer of economic values, he was the driver of progress – he created a new world order with the laws of physics which led us to present day with innovation and the progress. In exchange for comfortable life, he took legal control of social relationships, declaring his supremacy… And I think that was the reason why we forgot tradition. Because tradition puts restriction and responsibility on men. He proclaimed the equality. Everyone accepted it. He’s always wanted that, hasn’t he? Unrestricted power. To be completely honest, man does have propensity for violence and sometimes men are using their physical strength simply to abuse women… We never hear the stories about women raping men, or women raping women. Man is always a villain in those stories. Bible says: “Woman was the first creature to taste the bitter fruit of bondage.”
Feminism. The origins.
So maybe women have had enough of men‘s supremacy. Don’t get me wrong. Men are good as long as they are bind with tradition, when take responsibility for women, providing and protecting them from harsh live conditions. Just like I described the methods of making a man great in previous articles. But when men are not obliged to any social norm, when they don’t have to do anything to have everything – they can become abusive. Guarantee! Remember, they won the battle for survival with every other species by killing them with their bare hands. Evolutionary memory contains within them still…
So, maybe feminism movement is just our defense mechanism against irresponsible, abusive men. We are fed up! We are done! We cannot trust you anymore! We cannot rely on and seek protection from the abuser… That is why we are marching for reproductive rights, maternity leave and equal pay. And the fact that we have to work hard and earn everything ourselves is not new. We used to live that type of hard life in the past… But, Has Feminism Made Anyone Happy?
As a final word I would like to say, that woman’s inherent power in the family circle, her never totally revoked control of some domestic customs and rules, her influence as a mother, her power to make man uncomfortable when he is “bad”, and her more subtle power to award him when he is “good” – it all gives me hope that all good things are ahead of us…