I wouldn't say this is necessarily the case. We don't actually know how a small number of northern tribes became warlike, hierarchical, and focused on the power of men over anyone weaker, including but not limited to women and children. However, we do know that they eventually overtook the peaceful egalitarian societies that widely existed everywhere else, and then that this type of society spread, not because it was efficient, but precisely because it was so disruptive that it caused dispersal.

"Counterintuitively, the fact that inequality was so destabilising caused these societies to spread by creating an incentive to migrate in search of further resources. "

There are some theories about growing population density, particularly with the rise of agriculture, perhaps pared with natural disasters that made for greater competition over land and food resources. This may have been exacerbated by greater personal property now that Neolithic peoples were more tied to the land, although the egalitarian proto-agricultural settlement of Catalhuyuk existed for several thousand years with no leaders and no hierarchy of any kind. However, it was a very homogenous society held together by a strict set of cultural norms, but it did have gender equality.

In other words, we don't want to recreate the conditions that led to male dominance and just give it to women. This would just be another kind of dysfunctional society. What we need is a return to ones that are more cooperative and have less social stratification based in immutable traits like gender and race. Of course, we can't go back and create Paleolithic tribes, but there's plenty that can be done to foster a more partnership-oriented society - something that I've written about extensively.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store