The Battle over Human Possibilities: Women, Men, and Cultural Transformation
Many of us agree that
the issue of what is possible or impossible for us as humans is critical
for our future, and even whether we have one. In an age of escalating terrorism
and the unabated use of warfare and other forms of violence to resolve
differences, an age of nuclear and biological weapons, soaring global overpopulation,
and unprecedented environmental, economic, and social challenges, many
of us are also aware that our present course is not sustainable. Therefore,
many of us worldwide are working for cultural transformation, for a shift
to a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable way of relating to one another
and our Mother Earth.
But the question – and it is a fundamental question – is whether
such a shift is possible. This question has been a central
focus of my research.1
According to some popular sociobiological theories, a shift to cultures
that are less violent, more gender- balanced, and more equitable goes against
human nature. As much as we might like it to be different, the argument
goes, to believe anything else is naive and unrealistic because of ancient
evolutionary imperatives we carry in our genes. This negative position
is also buttressed by some archeologists and cultural historians who claim
that human society always was, and by implication always will be, violent
I will briefly examine these arguments from the perspective of the cross-cultural
and historical study carried out by me and some of my colleagues over three
decades. Drawing from transdisciplinary research, I will look at cultural
evolution from the perspective of two underlying possibilities for structuring
social systems: the contrasting configurations of the domination model and
the partnership model. I will propose that narratives about our
cultural origins are not just of academic interest; they reflect and guide
how we think, feel, and act. Theories that deny the possibility of
more equitable, peaceful, and gender-balanced societies constrict human
possibilities as they serve to maintain cultural patterns orienting to
the domination model of top-down rankings ultimately backed up by fear
and force. I will also show that so-called "women's issues" are
not, as we have been led to believe, secondary to "the important
issues," but of central importance in shaping policies, quality of
life, and our future.
My method of inquiry,
the study of relational dynamics, differs in key ways from most
studies of human society. Rather than looking for simple causes and
effects, it looks for interactive patterns that are self-organizing, self-maintaining,
and, during periods of severe disequilibrium, capable of transformative
change. It draws from a larger data base than most studies. Instead
of examining one period or place at a time, it takes into account the whole
span of our history – including prehistory. It also takes
into account not only the public, political and economic sphere but also
the private sphere of our day-to day family and other intimate relations.
And unlike most studies, which have aptly been called "the study
of man," it takes into account the whole of humanity – both
its female and male halves.
Two Basic Cultural Patterns:
The Domination Model and the Partnership Model
this larger data base, I found that cross-culturally and historically cultures
fall on a continuum of two basic possibilities for structuring relationships,
beliefs, and institutions: the partnership model and the domination
or dominator model. Because I drew from a data base that gives
equal importance to both the female and male halves of humanity, I also
saw that one of the core differences between these two models is the cultural
construction of the roles and relations of women and men. This is
why I sometimes use the gender-specific terms androcratic or ruled
by men, and the neologism gylanic, which derives from the
Greek gyne (woman) and andros (man) linked by the letter l for lyen (to
resolve) or lyo (to set free), signaling that the female and male
halves of humanity are linked rather than ranked.
No culture orients completely to either model. But the degree to
which it does, profoundly affects beliefs, institutions, and relationships – from
intimate to international. And this is so regardless of differences in
geographical locations, time periods, religion, economics, politics, or
levels of technological development.
The four core elements of the domination configurations are an authoritarian
social and family structure, rigid male-dominance, a high level of fear
and built-in violence and abuse (from child and wife beating to chronic
warfare), and a system of beliefs, including beliefs about human nature,
that make this kind of structure seem normal and right. Difference,
beginning with the fundamental difference between the female and male halves
of humanity, is equated with superiority or inferiority.
The European Middle Ages and fundamentalist regimes such as the Taliban
are both examples of religious cultures that orient closely to the domination
model. But the same configuration can be found in secular societies. And
here too the subordination of women is a central theme. When the
Nazis came to power, they too called for a return of women to their "traditional" place
(a code word for subservient) in a "traditional" family.
As we move toward the
partnership side of the partnership/domination continuum, we begin to see
a very different cultural configuration. The four core elements of this
configuration are a more democratic and egalitarian family and social structure,
gender equity, a low level of institutionalized violence and abuse (as
there is no need for fear and force to maintain rigid rankings of domination),
and a system of beliefs, stories, and values that supports and validates
this kind of structure as normal and right.
Again, we find cultures orienting more to this model in many different
settings. They can be tribal societies such as the Teduray of the
Philippines, agrarian cultures such as the Mosuo of China and the Minangkabau
of East Sumatra, or industrial societies such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland.2
None of these are ideal societies. But Nordic nations, in contrast
to the United States and other wealthier nations, do not have huge gaps
between haves and have nots. They not only have more political and economic
democracy. In these nations, we also find a much more equal partnership
between the female and male halves of humanity. For example, women
are in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland 35 to 45 percent of the legislatures – more
than anywhere else in the world.
Among the Teduray, anthropologist
Stuart Schlegel found elaborate social mechanisms for the prevention of
cycles of violence. The Teduray recognized that violence will occasionally
erupt. But violence is not integral to male socialization and men
are not ranked over women. Nor do they have tribal hierarchies of domination. Instead,
there are elders – both female and male – who are highly respected
because of their wisdom and who play an important role in mediating disputes.
Similarly, among the Minangkabau of East Sumatra mediation for violence
non-escalation help maintain a more peaceable way of life. Again,
the Minangkabau do not rank men over women. On the contrary, as anthropologist
Peggy R. Sanday extensively documents, women play a major social role.
As among the Teduray, violence is not part of Minangkabau child-raising
practices. For the Minangkabau, nurturance rather than violence is viewed
as inherent in humans and nature.
This takes me to a very important point about the interactive
dynamics of social systems. This is that, as the status of women rises,
so also does the status of values and activities such as empathy, nonviolence,
and caregiving that are in domination-oriented cultures unacceptable in
men because they are stereotypically associated with "inferior" femininity.
But all the different qualities and behaviors are
part of our genetic repertoire. The real issue is what human possibilities
are culturally supported or inhibited by the prevailing system of beliefs
and social institutions – from the family, education, and religion
to politics and economics.
Genes, Experience, and Findings from Biological and Social Science
This does not mean that genes do not matter, individually
and collectively. But we humans are not, as some sociobiologists
and evolutionary psychologists claim, robots of selfish genes ruthlessly
trying to replicate themselves. 3
War, these theorists say, is adaptive. It came about because it has "evolutionary
payoffs" in the competition of genes to reproduce themselves. Male
dominance, too, they claim is built into our genes. They claim the same
for rape, arguing that primate males "naturally" seek to control
females to ensure their genes, and not those of other males, are
passed on.4 All this, they argue,
is the inevitable result of our genetic heritage from what they call out
ancestral environment millions of years ago.
These claims fail to note that all human behaviors – including caring
and nonviolence – have evolutionary roots, or we would not
be capable of them. Instead, they highlight those behaviors appropriate
for dominator relations. They also ignore the fact that one of our closest
primate relatives, the bonobo chimpanzee, has a social organization that
is not male dominated and chronically violent.
Like common chimpanzees, bonobos share approximately 98.4 percent of their
genes with humans. But they are a much less tense, less-violence-prone,
primate than the common chimpanzee. For example, in contrast to chimpanzees,
where males have been observed killing infants, there are no instances
of infanticide among the bonobos.5 Females,
particularly mothers, play key social roles.
But there is much
more that is wrong with theories that claim we are driven to male dominance,
inequity, and chronic violence by genetic imperatives rooted in our primate
heritage. Perhaps most critically, these theories discount the importance
of environmental influences – sometimes even claiming that parenting
does not matter in how our brain, and with it our behaviors, develop.
Astonishingly, this position ignores the evidence from neuroscience showing
that the human brain develops out of the interaction of genes and experience – which
is heavily influenced by the human creation we call culture as mediated
by the family, education, religion, politics, and economics. It even
ignores evidence that the behavioral expression of individual genetic predispositions
is largely dependent on experience.Findings from anthropology, sociology,
and psychology further contradict claims that our genetic heritage inevitably
leads to behaviors and cultures that are violent and inequitable.
For example, cross-cultural surveys such as those of anthropologist Peggy
R. Sanday and sociologist Scott Coltrane show great cultural variability
in the relations between women and men, rates of violence, and general
Sanday and Coltrane found statistically significant correlations that
verify the foundational importance of gender roles and relations to a culture's
character.6 For instance, they found
a statistically significant correlation between greater sexual equality
and a greater male involvement in childcare, which in turn often correlated
with a cultural construction of masculinity that is not disassociated from
all that is "soft" or stereotypically feminine.
Nonetheless, in different permutations, narratives that make it
seem as if the androcratic/domination model is the only possible cultural
form periodically resurge. Indeed, these resurgences are a
notable feature of times of regression to the domination model – times
like the period we are experiencing worldwide today.
The Battle over Cultural Origins
If we look at modern
history through the analytical lens of the partnership-domination continuum,
we see that, while this is not brought out in conventional historical analyses,
all the progressive social movements have been challenges to entrenched
tradition of domination.
This takes me to one of the themes of this conference: the current resurgence
of the argument that archeological evidence supports the conclusion that
violence, male dominance, and unjust social arrangements are universals
that have been with us since prehistoric times.
Again, this position is not new. And neither is the position that
it is not true.
The mid and late nineteenth century was a time of strong partnership movement
in Europe and the United States. At the same time that writings on
humanism, feminism, and socialism challenged entrenched traditions of domination,
a number of scholars proposed that mythical and archeological evidence
points to a time when human society was not one of domination and exploitation.
These scholars wrote of matriarchies that preceded patriarchies, societies
in which women were not dominated by men that were also more equitable
and peaceful.7 But toward the
end of the 19th century, there was a strong movement to discredit these
matriarchal theorists. This came along with an anti-feminist crusade, a
religious movement that had as its goal the creation of a Christian state,
a massive re-concentration of wealth in the hands of industrial "robber
barons," and a cultural push to re-establish the old "macho" masculinity
that, as Theodore Roszak wrote, combined the vilification of women with
the glorification of male violence that eventually culminated in the bloodbath
of World War I.8
But the movement toward partnership resurged with renewed vigor in the
second half of the 20th century. Along with the civil rights, peace, economic
equity, and women's liberation and women's rights movements,
came a new wave of assertions that patriarchy is not the only cultural
possibility. And, again, part of this movement was the assertion
that there were prehistoric societies in which men did not dominate women,
that were also generally more egalitarian and peaceful.
During the 1960s, British archeologist James Mellaart reported his discovery
of the Anatolian town of Çatal Hüyük, an advanced Neolithic
site where he reported finding many female images and no signs of destruction
through warfare for almost 1000 years. This was followed by the publication
of the work of Lithuanian-American archeologist Marija Gimbutas on what
she called the pre-Indo-European Civilization of Old Europe, where she
reported that between circa 7000 and 3500 B.C.E. there developed a complex
social organization, in which female figures and symbols were foremost,
and peace seems to have been the general norm. Others, such as Alexander
Marshack, who revised earlier interpretations of Paleolithic art, and Nikolas
Platon, who excavated the generally peaceful Minoan civilization that flourished
on Crete until circa 1400 BCE, also reported the presence of what they
called Goddess figurines in prehistoric cultures.9
But in the closing decades of the 20th century, came yet another campaign
to demolish interpretations of prehistory and ancient history that did
not present a top-down, male-dominated, chronically violent system as the
only human possibility. Many scholars returned to the view that cultural
evolution is driven by genetic imperatives that make a top-down, male-dominated,
chronically violent social organization the only possibility. Or they argued
that although the early hunting-gathering stage of culture was more egalitarian
and peaceful, technological and social complexity inevitably led to war
As in the late 19th century, this 20th century backlash against narratives
that support the possibility of partnership or gylanic relations
was not an isolated event. It was part of a larger cultural backlash. It
occurred at the same time as fundamentalist religious leaders launched
a virulent anti-feminist crusade and agitated to get women back into their "traditional" place. As
in the late 19th century, there was also an enormous re-concentration of
wealth – this time in multinational corporations with more
assets than most nations, and in a new class of billionaires with a combined
wealth equal to the combined wealth of the majority of people on the planet.11
In short, the efforts to counter challenges to dominator narratives about
human possibilities did not take place in a cultural vacuum. This
does not mean there was a conspiracy between archeologists and regressive
religious, political, and economic forces seeking to return us to a time
when most men and all women "knew their place." But because
of pressures for dominator systems maintenance, the cultural climate, including
the academic cultural climate, was no longer supportive of those who looked
at prehistory through a different lens.
Ideology and Interpretation
Of course, no one can be certain of what happened thousands of years ago.
Indeed, even when there are written records, we cannot fully rely on them
as accurate, much less complete, accounts. They too reflect the writers' views,
his or her personal history and professional training, and with the academic
rewards system for certain views rather than others. Above all, interpretations
are often influenced by the prevailing cultural assumptions, which are
often projected onto earlier societies.
For example, when the Paleolithic "Montgaudier baton" (a 14½ inch
engraved reindeer antler) was found in the 1880s by the famous French prehistorian
Abbé Breuil, he reported that he saw on it a series of "barbed
harpoons." But when Marshack looked at these carvings again through
a magnifying lens that made it possible to more clearly make out worn areas,
the "weapons" turned out to be line drawings of plants. As
Marshack wrote: "Under the microscope, it was evident that these
were impossible harpoons; the barbs were turned the wrong way and the points
of the long shafts were at the wrong end. However, they were perfect plants
or branches, growing at the proper angle and in the proper way at the top
of a long stem." So according to Marshack, the images on this ancient
object had little to do with killing. They reflected our ancestors' interest
in, and celebration of, the coming of Spring – or, as Marshack put
it, "the birth of the New Year."
This concern with the renewal of life also seems to be reflected in many
of the beautiful animal cave paintings of the Paleolithic, which show male
and female animals in pairs, with the females sometimes pregnant as well
as in the carvings generally known as Venus figurines: stylized female
figures highlighting woman's life-giving powers. Yet some scholars
today argue that these carvings were just representations of women, with
no mythical significance – or even that they were just dolls.
But to say that a work such as the Venus of Laussel, carved at the entrance
of a cave sanctuary or ritual site, is merely a representation of a woman
with no mythical significance, or something meant for children's
play, does not make sense. Like other Venus figures, the Venus of
Laussel is a wide-hipped, large-bellied, possibly pregnant, nude. She is
not a portable figure, and hence cannot have been meant as a doll. Her
left hand points to her clearly delineated vulva, and in her right hand
she holds a crescent moon notched with thirteen markings: the number of
the lunar cycles of a year as well as of woman's menstrual cycles. As
Elinor Gadon and other scholars noted, this prehistoric figure, and the
ceremonies performed in the Laussel cave, must have had something to do
with women's menstrual cycles and the cycles of the moon.12 They
were most probably associated with the recognition that woman's life-giving
power plays an important role in the great cyclic drama of birth, sex,
death and rebirth.13
There are also conflicting interpretations of the next phase of cultural
development: the Neolithic. It is difficult to establish the social and
economic structure of prehistoric societies from archeological remains. But
we can draw some conclusions from the relative size and arrangement of
dwellings as well as from the relative sizes of burials and the "grave
gifts" in them. Based on these sources, Mellaart wrote that
although some social inequality is suggested by sizes of buildings, equipment,
and burial gifts, this was "never a glaring one". Similarly,
Gimbutas wrote of "tightly knit egalitarian communities" in
Old Europe, noting that "the distribution of wealth in graves speaks
for an economic egalitarianism."14 Platon
wrote that excavations of later Minoan sites not only showed a generally
high standard of living and a high status for women but also a general
absence of signs of destruction through warfare.
Gimbutas and Mellaart too concluded that while the earlier Neolithic cultures
they excavated were not violence-free, they were not warlike. These interpretations
contrast sharply with those of archeologists such as Brian Hayden, who
wrote that the Old European sites described by Gimbutas must have been
top-down chiefdoms in light of their size, craft specialization, and other
advanced features. Indeed, one of Hayden's major assumptions has
been that Neolithic societies were chronically warlike and can best be
understood in terms of a "Big Man complex", which he believed
is "founded upon self-interest, desire for power and materialism."15
These kinds of interpretation not only ignore the evidence for
a more egalitarian social structure; they also ignore the general absence
of fortifications as well as of scenes depicting and idealizing violence
in the art of the early and middle Neolithic. In contrast to later art,
there is a general absence of scenes of men killing each other in "heroic
battles" or idealizing strong-man rule. Instead, we find a
great variety of images of nature, as well as a profusion of female figures
often emphasizing vulvas and breasts, pointing to a cultural focus on the
power to give and nurture life rather than the power to dominate and take
Nonetheless, proposals that the prevalence of these female images reflects
cultures in which women were not dominated by men are today fiercely disputed.
Even beyond this, Paleolithic cave carvings that scholars such as Marshack
and Gimbutas classified as vulvas are being reclassified as merely cleft
ovals or ovals with slits, although phalluses are still described as phalluses. In
the same way, Neolithic female carvings that Mellaart and Gimbutas classified
as Goddess figurines are being described as female dolls, even though male
figurines are recognized as having ritual significance. And the old
assumption that the appearance of the archaic state, and with it "high
civilization," brought with it male dominance, chronic warfare, and
slave-based economies is being revived, despite the fact that there are
no indications that this was the case in the highly advanced civilization
of Minoan Crete.
The High Civilization of Minoan Crete
Although Minoan society was socially complex and technologically advanced,
with clear signs of centralized government, it was in key respects different
from the other high civilizations of that time. As Greek archeologist Nanno
Marinatos noted, the lack of fortifications indicates not only peaceful
co-existence among the Minoan city-states but also that religion rather
than violence was the primary means of enforcing the authority of the rulers.
Also interesting is that there are no martial female deities in Minoan
iconography.16 This too is in contrast
to later high civilizations, where female deities such as Ishtar and Athene
are already warrior goddesses.
We have to make a distinction between two different kinds of hierarchies. One
kind are hierarchies based on force or the threat of force, which I have
called domination hierarchies. The other are the more flexible
and less authoritarian hierarchies I have called actualization hierarchies,
which go along with greater complexity of functions and higher levels of
performance. In hierarchies of actualization respect and accountability
flow not only from the bottom up but also from the top down. It is this
second kind, the actualization hierarchy, that I probably better describes
the administrative and religious structure at ancient Minoan sites such
as the Palace of Knossos, which apparently also served as centers for crafts,
trade, and resources distribution.
A Minoan art work of particular interest in this connection is the so-called
procession fresco. Here the central figure (with arms raised in benediction)
is not on an elevated pedestal (as later "divine kings" characteristically
are shown) or of a larger size than the approaching figures bringing it
offerings of fruit and wine. Equally interesting is that the central figure
in this fresco is female rather than male.
Accordingly, some scholars have written about a queen or queen/priestess
as the representative of the Goddess officiating in the famous "throne
room" of the Palace of Knossos. As Reusch points out, the griffins
on each side of the "throne" are almost universally associated
with goddess figures. The lilies and spirals on the walls are also typical
goddess symbols and the smallness of the "throne" (actually
a gracefully carved stone chair that is not elevated) also suggest that
a woman may have been its occupant. However, as Willetts further points
out, it is also highly probable that "male hierarchies had co-existed
with the palace priestesses, some in charge perhaps of trade and maritime
affairs, others serving as priests."
What all this points to is a partnership-oriented or gylanic society
where both women and men played leading roles, with men probably playing
a larger role in trade and administration, and women in religion.
From Past to Present and Future
Using the analytical framework of the partnership/domination continuum,
the cultural transformation theory introduced in my books traces the evolution
of Western societies from prehistory to the present in terms of the underlying
tension between the partnership and domination models as two basic alternatives
for organizing society. Like chaos theory, cultural transformation
theory highlights that social systems are self-organizing and self-maintaining,
but that during periods of disequilibrium they are capable of transformative
change. It proposes that cultural evolution is not a straight-line upward
movement from barbarism to civilization, as we are often taught, but that
it has from the beginning consisted of the tension between the partnership
or gylanic and the dominator or androcratic models as
two underlying possibilities for all societies – from tribal to technologically
theory further proposes that there is evidence of cultural transformation
during a time of disequilibrium in prehistory when the original course
of civilization, not only in the West but also in other early centers of
civilization, shifted from a partnership to dominator direction.
I want to conclude my remarks by looking at the application of cultural
transformation theory to our present and future. Because in our time
of massive technological and social dislocation another fundamental shift
is possible — to a world orienting more to partnership rather than
Largely because of the dislocation and disequilibrium brought by the shift
to industrial technologies that accelerated in the West during the 18th
century, modern history has seen many challenges to entrenched traditions
of domination – from the "divinely ordained" rule of
kings over their "subjects" and of men over women and childrenin
the "castles" of their homes, to the enslavement of one race
by another and the use of warfare as a means for one nation to control
another. These challenges brought many gains we today take for granted.
However, the movement toward partnership has not been linear. It
has been more like a spiral upward movement, with periodic dips or regressions
to the domination model. In the West, the most visible regressions
have been those of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. Today,
we are in a time of global regression to the domination model.
It is precisely during periods of regression that we need to be proactive
rather than just reactive. This requires a systemic approach – one
that takes into full account what we have been examining: the foundational
importance of how a culture structures the roles and relations of the female
and male halves of humanity.
In the first stage of the modern partnership
movement, the emphasis was primarily on dismantling the top of the dominator
pyramid – on
economic and political relations in the so-called public sphere. Far less
emphasis was placed on the so-called private sphere of relations – the
relations between women and men and between them and their sons and daughters – which
were seen as secondary "women's issues" and "children's
As a result, we still lack the solid foundations on which to build a truly
democratic, equitable, more peaceful world.
It is not coincidental that for the most violent and repressive regimes
and would-be regimes of modern times a top priority has been "getting
women back into their traditional place" in a "traditional
family," a code word for a family where top-down control and severe
punishments are taught children as normal, moral, and inevitable. The reason,
simply put, is that it is in family and other intimate relations that people
first learn and continually practice either dominator or partnership relations.
But a way of structuring relations into rigid rankings of domination – be
it man over woman, man over man, race over race, nation over nation, or
man over nature – is not tenable at our level of technological
development. This is why we urgently need to move to a crucial second
stage in the challenge to traditions of domination: a politics of
partnership that encompassesboth the public and
private spheres of human relations and focuses intense attention on shifting
gender relations from domination to partnership.18
There has already been much progress in moving toward partnership, as
evidenced by the changes in the West from the Middle Ages to today. There
is today an unprecedentedly strong grassroots movement in all world regions
toward family and social structures that are closer to the partnership
than domination model. But, as I have briefly outlined, much more
attention must be given to the cultural construction of the roles and relations
of the two basic halves of humanity as foundational to a more sustainable,
equitable, and peaceful future.
Congresses such as this are important contributions to this urgently needed
focus on gender roles and relations as integral to the kind of cultures
and world we create. Cultural transformation does not happen by itself. It
comes about through human agency, and every one of us can play a part. Awareness
that a cultural organization based on partnership – on mutual respect,
accountability, and benefit, rather than on fear, domination, and violence – is
possible, and that so-called women's issues are central rather than
peripheral, is basic to the construction of the kind of world we
so want and need for ourselves, our children, and generations to come.
- Bachofen, J.J. Myth, Religion, and Mother-Right. Ralph Mannheim,
translator. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Originally
published as Das Mutterrecht in German in 1861.
- Dijkstra, Bram. Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evils
in Fin-de-siecle Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.
- Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. San
Francisco: Harper & Row,
--. Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body.
San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1995.
--. Human Possibilities: Who We Are, Were, and Can Be. Work in
- Eisler, Riane and Daniel S. Levine. "Nurture, Nature, and Caring:
We Are Not Prisoners of Our Genes." Brain and Mind, Vol.
3, No. 1, 2002: 9-52.
- Engels, Friedrich. Origin of the Family, Private Property
and the State. New York: International Publishers, 1972. Originally
published in 1884, 1890.
- Gadon, Elinor. The Once and Future Goddess. San Francisco:
Harper & Row, 1989.
- Gage, Matilda Joslyn. Woman, Church and State: A Historical
Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences
of the Matriarchate. Arno Press Inc, 1972, original publication
- Gimbutas, Marija. The Civilization of the Goddess. San
Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991.
--. Edited and supplemented by Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses.
Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1999.
- Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Patriarchy. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1986.
- Leroi-Gourhan, André. Prehistoire de l'Art Occidental.
Paris: Edition D'Art Lucien Mazenod, 1971.
- Marinatos, Nanno. Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol. Columbia,
S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.
- Marler, Joan. "A Response by Joan Marler to Brian Hayden's article, ‘An
Archaeological Evaluation of the Gimbutas Paradigm.'" The
Pomegranate 10, 1999: 37-46. http://www.uscolo.edu/natrel/pom/old/POM10a2.html
- Marshack, Alexander. The Roots of Civilization. Mount Kisco,
New York: Moyer Bell, 1991.
- Platon, Nicholas. Crete. Geneva: Nagel Publishers, 1966.
- Roszak, Theodore. "The Hard and the Soft: The Force of Feminism
in Modern Times." In Masculine/Feminine edited by Betty Roszak
and Theodore Roszak, New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1969: 92-93.
- Sanday, Peggy Reeves. Female Power and Male Dominance: On
the Origins of Sexual Inequality. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1981
- Ucko, Peter J. Anthropomorphic Figurines of Predynastic Egypt
and Neolithic Crete with Comparative Material from the Prehistoric Near
East and Mainland Greece. London: Andrew Szmidla, 1968.
- Willetts, R. F. The Civilization of Ancient Crete. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1977.
1 Eisler, 1987; 1995; 2000; 2002.
2 Schlegel 1970, 1998; Sanday 2002;
Min, 1995; Goettner-Abendroth; Pietila , 2001; Eisler, Loye, and
3 Dawkins, 1976; Barkow, Cosmides,
and Tooby, 1992; Wright, 1994.
4 Thornhill and Palmer, 2000; Pinker,
5 de Waal and Lanting 1997, 118-121.
6 I want to emphasize that when
we speak of statistically significant correlations, this does not
mean invariable correlations, but rather central tendencies. Because
cultures involve a very large number of variables, we can expect some
variations from central tendencies. For example, some societies
with an ideology of male dominance where women had some economic power
still tended to have a relatively high degree of male aggression, including
aggression against women.
7 Bachofen, 1861; Morgan, 1877; Engels,
1884; Gage 1893.
8 Roszak, 1969; Dijkstra, 1986; Eisler,
9 Marshack, Platon, Gimbutas.
10 Engels had proposed a variation
of this theory in Origins of the Family. More recent articulations
are Meillassoux, 1972; Boulding, 1976; Lerner, 1987.
11 United Nations Development Program, Human
Development Report1998, New York: Oxford University Press 1998,
12 Gadon, 19..
13 Andre Leroi-Gourhan, director
of the Sorbonne's Center for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Studies, also
concluded that Paleolithic art expressed an early religion in which feminine
representations and symbols played a central part. He wrote that characteristically
the female figures and symbols were located in a central position in the
excavated chambers. In contrast, the masculine symbols typically
either occupied peripheral positions or were arranged around the femalefigures
and symbols."(For a more detailed discussion, see Eisler 1987).
14 Gimbutas 1991: 94; 324.
15 Hayden, 1993:251-253. For a
detailed critique of Hayden, see Marler, 1998.
16 Marinatos 1993: 104, 149.
17 Eisler, 1987 (The Chalice and The
Blade), 1995 (Sacred Pleasure), and 2000 (Tomorrow's Children).
18 This integrated partnership political
agenda focuses on four cornerstones: Partnership gender relations; Partnership
childhood relations; Partnership economics; and Cultural beliefs, myths,
and stories that support partnership. In my most recent book, The
Power of Partnership, I present some key strategic building blocks
to put each of these cornerstones in place and show how every one of
us can help with their construction.