Author Topic: Patrilinearity  (Read 4713 times)

Mandos

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Patrilinearity
« on: July 13, 2006, 04:48:21 AM »
One thing I've noticed is that in most theories about the origin of patriarchy and the motives behind many of its institutions is that a lot of it, if not most of it, is about assigning male inheritance.  

This would suggest to me that the expectation of Known Fathers that still currently exists is possibly a source of limitation of women's freedom.  But at the same time, as a male, I'd really like to know (or have a good guess at) who my biological children are, were I to have any.  Women certainly wouldn't tolerate randomization of the babies in the maternity ward or something.  Really, if there is such a dichotomy between women's full liberation and patrilinearity, I think I would be conflicted about which one I would choose.  I suspect that many men, assuming this hypothesis is correct, would feel that way as well.

And if it is, it seems to me to be a fundamental conundrum.

skdadl

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 05:46:56 AM »
Quote
if there is such a dichotomy between women's full liberation and patrilinearity, I think I would be conflicted about which one I would choose. I suspect that many men, assuming this hypothesis is correct, would feel that way as well.

And if it is, it seems to me to be a fundamental conundrum.


 :rotfl:

What can I say, Mandos, old friend? On the one hand, it is no conundrum to me at all, and I am tempted just to blow a raspberry at any man who is thrown into conundrums by the thought of my liberty, my right to self-determination. I'm tempted to say something like "Nyah, nyah: you can't catch me; I've had a hysterectomy."  :D

On the other, I am tempted to say that what you've just discovered for yourself is so patently obviously the brute animal truth that you seem to me to be reinventing the wheel here, or something like that. Certainly in terms of feminist theory about why the more intelligent half of the species have been enslaved through history, treated as though they had no intelligence at all, sometimes pampered as pets but more often regarded as disposable sex toys by the rantin' and roarin' and warrin' beasts who think that they are actually thinking when they impose their destructive persons on all that is blessed in nature ...  certainly from that pov, you are reinventing the wheel.

I doubt that it comes as news to most women that a lot of men are bothered by the thought that women might be free, or at least capable of being free. To some men -- Dick Cheney, eg -- it is bothersome to believe that any other human being on the face of the planet might be free, capable of action independent of his control.

What can I say? Tant pis.

To wish to exercise your own will over the natural liberty of any of nature's other creations is profoundly perverse, and yes, one of the obvious sources of the patriarchy. Some human minds, through historical accident, have been given the chance to evolve beyond that brute condition, to become more beautiful than that. If you have the opportunity to choose the more beautiful way, it is a horrific failure, for which you alone are responsible, to turn away from it.

And a footnote: The British have a word, "broody," that they usually apply metaphorically to young women who are feeling the urge to build a nest and cultivate some eggs -- ie, get pregnant. Mandos, you are definitely broody. Go have a baby. Please. Get it out of your system. We will all be happy for you, and chances are very good that you will be able to tell that it is your baby.

But I tell you, Mandos, that this kind of male paranoia is sometimes deeply irritating to women who are not feeling broody, and believe it or not, we are capable of thinking about other things, doing other things, desiring other things. Try to stop us, and it's war.

It is so sad, though, to think that some men are so limited that they cannot appreciate the full beauty of women. What a horrible waste of large parts of the male brain.

Their problem, though. Not mine, for sure.

brebis noire

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 07:33:44 AM »
Oh dear. Hormones can be very, very powerful, but fortunately they are not all we have.  :wink:

What about the millions of parents, single parents or couples, who raise other people's babies as if they were the fruit of their very own loins? There are all kinds of intense attachments people are somehow able to form - there's even proof of inter-species  attachments all around us (not just involving humans.)

At a very basic level, it's as if you're saying "how can I justify a childless life from a raw patriarchal pov?" At least, that's how I'm reading you. But the thing is: people do it, have always done it, and we are richer for it.

Raising babies, children and young adults is such an incredibly demanding activity, in all kinds of ways, that a very strong attachment is required - especially if the circumstances are difficult. Hopefully, all kinds of fostering attachments will be formed along the way.

Hormones and emotions of doubt, jealousy and anger should not have to be the default position in political or existential theory.

aRoused

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 09:08:16 AM »
Patriarchy or patrilinearity?  The two are not absolutely reliant on one another.

There have been, and continue to be, plenty of societies where patriarchy runs rampant, and yet descent is calculated through the mother's line.  Or both.  Or neither.
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brebis noire

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 09:34:36 AM »
I think Mandos is talking about both, because he mentions patriarchy as a source of material and nominal (or title) inheritance, and patrilinearity as a source of determining descendence.

I'm not sure that matrilinearity is all that significant as a material concept in most cultures, except in those where the child's uncles are responsible to support the child and look out for his/her interest.

Of course, I think it's important nowadays (but not vital) to know who your father is, for genetic health-related reasons, but obviously, you can't legislate this. Babies are going to be born without a known father, and it shouldn't be held against them.

I just participated in a language debate about the use of the words illegitimate, bastard, out-of-wedlock child and extra-marital child. I can't believe that some people think that the words illegitimate and bastard are still somehow useful.  :x To me, out-of-wedlock and extra-marital are just barely acceptable, but only as reflecting some kind of legal reality.

deBeauxOs

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 04:51:47 PM »
One of the most beautiful, sweet, man that I know - a man who deeply and strongly cherishes the women in his life: mother, sister, niece, ex-lovers and female friends - has been feeling broody in the last few years.  He will soon wed a lovely earth-mother, someone who has extricated herself from a relationship with a peter pan/mel gibson type of guy.  Now this young man (he's 34) had long fantasized about nurturing and supporting through pregnancy and motherhood a woman with whom he would conceive babies.  The woman in his life has three children under the age of 10 and she had her tubes tied long before she met him.  

Problems ... ? He is one of the most honest persons that I know - what he feels shows up in his face and he is only capable of the smallest white lie to avoid hurting people.  I have seen him with his soon-to-be step-children and they respond to his caring and paternal ministrations like any kids would with a 'natural' parent.

I've asked him how he feels about the likelihood that he may never have "biological" children.  He says that 5 years ago he would never have imagined letting go of his "procreative urges" but this is the life he wants, with this woman and 'their' children.  

So perhaps the need and the desire to "produce" progeny from one's own loins is neither an absolute nor an imperative for every human being.

Mandos

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Patrilinearity
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2006, 03:51:11 PM »
Quote
And a footnote: The British have a word, "broody," that they
usually apply metaphorically to young women who are feeling the urge to
build a nest and cultivate some eggs -- ie, get pregnant. Mandos, you are
definitely broody. Go have a baby. Please. Get it out of your system. We
will all be happy for you, and chances are very good that you will be able
to tell that it is your baby.

:lol: It's more that I've been hanging around older cousin's little kids
lately.  :)  At the moment I lack the wherewithal and willing female for
this purpose, and it wouldn't be responsible anyway considering that I'm
going to be making just enough money for me at the time being.

Quote
But I tell you, Mandos, that this kind of male paranoia is
sometimes deeply irritating to women who are not feeling broody, and
believe it or not, we are capable of thinking about other things, doing
other things, desiring other things. Try to stop us, and it's war.


Well, yes.  And I do imagine that it would still be relatively easy to
*tell* who's whose daddy in an equal society---at least, not much harder
than now.  The question is, can men in an equal society actually be
interested in this?  Should it matter to men in this case?

I'm aware that this is very obvious and well-noted in feminist theory
about the origins of many of our customs.  But what I'm asking is this:
how avoidable is it?  If men remain interested in this question,
how avoidable would be the paranoia that irritates you?  The development
of customs around it?

The beauty of women as people is one thing, but certain forms of
selfishness are inevitable and not always in themselves bad.  I'm trying
to turn the question around here: the hypothesis I'm looking at is the
extent to which patriarchy originated as a mechanism for
"deperipheralizing" males from the family unit in the form of the father
as an equal and perhaps later dominant figure over the mother.   In an
equal society, can fatherhood as such be even equal in social status to
motherhood---or even a concept---particularly in an ideal environment
where social support ensures that no child goes hungry even without two
parents?

One part of selfishness is a need to be needed.  It's that paranoia that
drives the whole men's/father's rights advocate/troll brigade, quite
explicitly.  The fear that men are not necessary as men, but in the ideal
case, a luxury and perhaps useful good.

I know also, as per the other participants here, that there are many
people who raise kids not their own, but they do so in that knowledge
after making a conscious decision in a society that presupposes biological
connections between parents and offspring.

 

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