Patriarchical Myths

We visited the Yamane museum in Ushuaïa, and one of the displays recounted their patriarchical myth, which goes roughly like this:

In the beginning women claimed to communicate with the spirits in a secret ceremony, and to obtain orders for the tribe, even though there were no spirits. One day, a man found that out, and the men killed almost all women. The strongest woman escaped to the sky. Men took over the ritual, which they keep secret from the women, and obtain orders from the – now existing – spirits.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the parallels to “original sin” in that. And while thinking about that, I realized for the first time that all the Biological Determinism and the shoddier work in Evolutionary Psychology are just updated versions of these myths.

You see, nowadays it’s a lot less convincing to point to oral sources or divine revelation to justify the inferiority and subjugation of women (at least outside of the Middle East and certain parts of the U.S.). So the narrative framework is shifted towards evolutionary biology, which most people don’t understand too well, and the same kind of myths are told again.

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