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The Patriarchs: The Origins of Inequality – Angela Saini

May/06/2023 / by Team Seema
Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science.

Ever wondered how patriarchy was born, developed and thrived across the globe? This is the book to read. Angela Saini, the author of Inferior and Superior brings out a well-researched concept of patriarchy, tracing its origins to ancient times. 

In this bold and radical book, award-winning science journalist Angela Saini explores the roots of patriarchy, uncovering a complex history of how it first became embedded in societies and spread across the globe. She travels to the world’s earliest known human settlements, analyzes the latest research findings in science and archaeology, and traces cultural and political histories from the Americas to Asia. The book reveals some interesting facts:

  • From around 7,000 years ago there are signs that a small number of powerful men were having more children than other men.
  • From 5,000 years ago, as the earliest states began to expand, gendered codes appeared in parts of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to serve the interests of powerful elites.
  • In societies where women left their own families to live with their husbands, marriage customs came to be informed by the widespread practice of captive-taking and slavery, eventually shaping laws that alienated women from systems of support and denied them equal rights
  • There was enormous variation in gender and power in many societies for thousands of years, but colonialism and empire dramatically changed ways of life across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, spreading rigidly patriarchal customs.

SEEMA’S VIEW: The book gives a comprehensive insight in understanding the concept of patriarchy. Angela Saini has done extensive research in bringing to light the entrenched system of male domination. An enlightening book that can hopefully have an impact on the future.


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