Preindustrial Societies .

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Postindustrial Societies .

The earliest known division of labor between women and men is in hunting and gathering societies. While the men hunt for wild  am, women gather roots and berries. A relatively equitable relationship exists because neither sex has the ability to provide all the food necessary for survival. When wild game is nearby, both men and women may hunt. When it is far away, hunting  comes incompatible with child rearing 0(which women tend to do because they breast-feed heir young). and women are placed  t a disadvantage n terms of contributing to the food supply (Lobber. 1994). In most hunting and gathering societies, women are  ll  gnomic partners with men; relations between them tend to be cooperative and relatively

egalitarian (Chafe, 1984; Villain. 2001). Little social stratification of any kind is found because people do not acquire a food surplus.

In horticultural societies. which first developed ten to twelve thousand years ago. a steady source of food be- . comes available.  people are able to grow their own food because of hand tools, such as the digging stick and the hoe. Women make an important  contribution to food production because hoe cultivation is compatible with child care. A fairly high degree of gender  quality exists because neither sex controls the food supply.

When inadequate moisture in an area males planting crops impossible, pastoral ism-the domestication of large animals to ‘provide  pod-develops. Herding is primarily done by men, and women contribute relatively little to subsistence production in such  societies. In some herding societies. women have relatively low status; their primary value is their ability to produce male  offspring so that the family lineage can be preserved and enough males’ will exist to protect the group against attack (Nielsen,  990). Even so, the relationship between men and women is more equitable than it is in agrarian societies, which first developed about eight thousand to ten thousand )’ears ago.

which cultural,political,and economic structures are controlled by men. The influence of religion on patriarchy is a topic of great  interest to contemporary scholars, particularly those applying a feminist approach to their explanations of why persistent social  inequalities exist between women and men and how these inequalities are greater in some regions of the world than In Others.

According To some gender studies pederasts, a newer form of feminist thinking is emerging among Muslim women. Often referred  o as “feminist Islam”or “Islamic feminism: this approach is based on the belief that greater gender equality may be possible In The  slim world if the teachings of Islam,as set forth in the Koran(or Qumran)-the Islamic Holy Book-are followed more  closely.Islamic Feminism is based on the principle that Muslim Women should retain their allegiance to Islam As an essential part of  heir self-determination and Identity, but that they should also work to change patriarchal control over the bask Islamic world  view (Waded, 2002). According to the journalist Nicholas D. Shortstop(2006),both Islam and evangelical Christianity have been on the  use In recent years because both religions provide “a form moral code, ~pl ritual reassurance and orderliness to people vexed by  has and Immorality around them. and they differentiation the poor: Islamic feminists believe that the rise of Islam might  contribute to greater, rather than less.equality for women. From this perspective, stories about characters such as Ian may help  irks and young women realize that they can maintain their deep religious convictions and their head scarf (hi jab) while, at the  am time, working for greater equality for women and more opportunities for  themselves. In The Adventures of Ian, the female  ore always wears a pink scarf around her neck. and she uses the scarf to cover her hair when she 15 praying to Ian quotes   e Qumran when she is explaining to others that Muslims are expected to be tolerant. kind, and righteous. For Iman, religion is a form  f empowerment, not an extension of patriarchy

Islamic feminism is quite different from what most people people people people people trunk of a Western feminism(particularly in regard to issues such as the  airing of the hi jab or the fact that in Saudi Arabia,a woman may own a motor vehicle but may not legally drive It).However,change  s clearly underway in many regions of the Middle East And other areas of the world as rapid economic development and  urbanization quickly change the lives of many people.

Reflect & Analyze

Why Is Women’s Inequality a complex Issue to study across across across across nations? What part does culture play In defining the roles of women  And Men In various societies? How Do religious beliefs Influence what we think of as “appropriate” or “inappropriate” behaviors for  en,  women, and children 1 What do you think

In agrarian societies, gender inequality and male dominance become institutionalized. Agrarian societies rely on agriculture- arming done by animal drawn or mechanically powered plows and equipment. Because agrarian tasks require more labor and greater physical strength than horticultural ones, men  become more involved in food production. It has been suggested that  omen are excluded from these tasks because they are viewed as too weak for the work and because child-care responsibilities are   considered incompatible with the full-time labor that the tasks require (Nielsen, 1990). Most of the world’s population currently  lives in agrarian societies in various stages of industrialization.

Why does gender inequality increase in agrarian societies? Scholars cannot agree on an answer; however, some suggest that it  results from private ownership of  property. When people no longer have to move continually in search of food, they can acquire a  surplus. Men gain control over the disposition of the surplus and the kinship system, and this control serves men’s  interests  Lobber, 1994). The importance of producing “legitimate” heirs to inherit the surplus increases Significantly, and women’s lives  become more secluded

and restricted as men attempt to ensure the legitimacy of their children. Premarital virginity and marital fidelity are required;  indiscretions are punished (Nielsen, 1990). However, some scholars argue that male dominance existed before the private  ownership of property (Firestone, 1970; Lerner, 1986).